Four vessels on Libya evacuation mission for Chinese nationals

10:32, February 26, 2011      

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The Chinese embassy in Malta has chartered four vessels to evacuate Chinese nationals from the chaos in Libya, a Chinese diplomat told Xinhua on Friday.

Fu Zhimin, political counselor of the Chinese embassy in Malta, said the first chartered evacuation cruise dispatched by the Chinese embassy has departed the port city of Benghazi, Libya, for Malta and was expected to arrive at the Mediterranean island at mid-Saturday due to rough weather.

In addition to 2,216 Chinese nationals, the ship also carried 13 Maltese, 20 Croatians, two Italians and four Vietnamese.

Two other vessels, with a capacity of 2,000 and 1,000 passengers respectively, left for Libya on Thursday and Friday local time. A fourth ship, with a capacity of 1,600, was expected to set out Friday afternoon.

In an effort to swiftly return the evacuated Chinese to China, chartered planes from China Eastern Airlines were scheduled to arrive at Malta on Saturday. Six more planes were to follow in the coming days to bring back all those Chinese nationals evacuated.

With the full support from the Maltese government, all necessary medical and logistic backup has been mobilized and coordinated by the Chinese embassy.

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