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Swedes lifted from Libya

Published: 27 Feb 2011 16:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Feb 2011 16:46 GMT+01:00

Authorities hope an eighth Swede, coming from Ericsson offices outside the capital city, is able fly out from Tripoli later today.

13 Swedes in Tripoli, three in Benghazi and a few scattered elsewhere in the country have said they want out of Libya.

“There are about 20 Swedes we're working on getting home," said the Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Cecilia Julin.

About 20 of the 40 Swedes living or working in Libya told authorities they wanted to leave and the first began to be moved out on Sunday, Julin told the AFP.

Despite advise from the Foreign Ministry to evacuate the embattled Libya, others have said they want to wait to see how the situation develops or they would leave on their own, she said.

In Valletta, Malta, the British have set up a collaborative center of operation where aid efforts to Libya from several countries will be coordinated.

"We have decided to contribute to the effort with a Hercules Plane," said Julin, the ministry’s communications manager.

The Swedish Hercules plane is expected to land in Valletta later this evening.

While the plane will be used to lift foreign nationals out from Libya, it also will deliver loads of medical equipment and supplies into the tumultuous nation.

“There is, of course, a severe shortage of medical supplies," explained Julin.

She said the stock of medical aid is likely to be shipped to any of Libya's coastal cities.

The question remains if the medical goods will to go to Benghazi, which is currently held by rebels against Gaddafi, or to the capital, Tripoli, still controlled by the regime.

"It'll probably be determined and coordinated in Malta," said Julin.

Sweden closed its embassy in Tripoli in 1995.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

06:41 February 28, 2011 by UScitizen
"Sweden closed its embassy in Tripoli in 1995."

I guess that's why the Swedes living there have been left hanging for so long. Most other countries made a real effort ot get their citizens to a pick up point and get them out but with no embassy, there's no one for the Swedish nationals to contact and no one to co-ordinate the evacuation.

And now Sweden is closing more embassies in more countries. I hope nothing happens in those countries. As good as Sweden is at being a humanitarian country, helping refugees and asylum seekers, you'd think they would make more of an effort to help their own citizens.
08:29 February 28, 2011 by jackx123
finally we see a "proper" proactive initiative from the swedish government to protect/save its nationals. in the past such thing has been dismal at best.
12:51 February 28, 2011 by bolababu
@UScitizen; Sweden is not closing any embassies in more countries, they are closing consulates in countries where they have too many espeially also where their embassies are capable of handling both diplomatic and consular affairs.

Typical American!
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