Foreign Minister Westerwelle relieved to see Germans and Europeans evacuated

26.02.2011 - Press release

An evacuation mission involving two Transall aircraft and protected by soldiers today resulted in the successful removal from Libya of 133 foreign nationals, among them dozens of Germans and other EU citizens.

Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle had agreed the procedure with the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Minister of Defence late on Friday.

He then telephoned the leaders of all the parliamentary groups in the German Bundestag to inform them of the mission, in accordance with the Parliamentary Participation Act. He also afterwards informed them that the evacuation had been successful.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on the matter today (26 February):

“I am extremely relieved that this evacuation was completed successfully. My thanks go to all those involved in planning and carrying out the mission. I would particularly like to thank the members of the Bundeswehr for their committed and courageous work.”

The Federal Foreign Office estimates that there are around 100 German nationals still in Libya, about half of them in the interior of the country. The crisis unit is continuing to dedicate all possible effort to enabling the remaining German nationals to leave.

In the light of the dramatic situation in Libya, the Federal Foreign Office again stepped up its travel and security warning today. The warning against travelling to any part of Libya remains in place. German nationals are urged to leave the country if it seems safe to do so.

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