China strives to evacuate nationals from Libya, gets aid from foreign governments (2)

10:34, February 26, 2011      

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Chinese nationals evacuated from Libya wave as the vessel docks at the port of Heraklion in the southern Greek island of Crete, Feb. 24, 2011. More than 4,100 Chinese nationals on two Greek vessels chartered by the Chinese government arrived here Thursday from Libya's Benghazi. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

FOREIGN ASSISTANCE

Seven ships departed from Greece for Libya to help Chinese nationals in one of China's largest-ever evacuation efforts of nationals from abroad.

According to the Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries, Ioannis Diamantidis, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou demanded full assistance from the country's ministries once Greece received notification from the Chinese government.

"I contacted ship companies. Despite the possible danger and uncertainties, these companies responded positively," Diamantidis said during his visit to China, adding that it was an "unforgettable experience" and a "special achievement" to participate in the evacuation assistance.

According to the minister, more than 10,000 Chinese nationals in Libya are scheduled to take ships sent by Greece to return home via Crete.

HOME IS BEST

After the arrival of the first chartered flight that carried more than 200 evacuees from Libya to Beijing, citizens started their journey home.

At the airport in the provincial capital of Wuhan in Hubei Province, families and friends on Friday morning were anxious while waiting for the arrival of the flight from Beijing. Five people on the flight were evacuated from Libya.

Chen Quandi, a mother of a 25-year-old woman who worked as an interpreter in Libya for a construction company, did not take her hands off her eyebrows until she saw her daughter. "She's a tough girl. She always said in her online messages that it's safe there to ease our anxiety," Chen said.
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