NEWS IN SHORT

Slovaks flee violence in Libya

SLOVAKS started leaving Libya after protests and violence spread across many Libyan cities in mid February. The first two Slovaks, a mother and her daughter, left the country on February 24 onboard a Ukrainian plane, the Slovak Foreign Ministry stated. The two were picked up in Kiev by representatives of the Slovak embassy, the SITA newswire reported.

SLOVAKS started leaving Libya after protests and violence spread across many Libyan cities in mid February. The first two Slovaks, a mother and her daughter, left the country on February 24 onboard a Ukrainian plane, the Slovak Foreign Ministry stated. The two were picked up in Kiev by representatives of the Slovak embassy, the SITA newswire reported.

According to Slovakia’s Foreign Ministry, there were at least 50 more Slovaks in Libya and 16 of them had asked for assistance in leaving the country. The ministry was attempting to arrange passage on the planes and ferries of other countries but the ministry’s spokesperson, Ľuboš Schwarzbacher, said there was no clear plan or schedule for departures because “the situation is non-transparent and there is a big probability that scheduled flights might be cancelled at any moment”.

Slovaks in Libya who wish to leave the country should contact the Slovak embassy in Tripoli or the Foreign Ministry’s centre for assistance to citizens, Schwarzbacher said.

Hundreds of people died during violent intervention against anti-government protestors in Libya, much of which was reported to be free of government control.

The European Union agreed on February 23 to prepare sanctions against Libya in response to leader Muammar Gaddafi's violent crackdown, the Reuters newswire reported. EU experts will prepare a list of proposed measures, which could include visa bans, asset freezes, an arms embargo and other restrictions, and EU governments will then agree whether to impose them.

Slovak Foreign Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda said that Slovakia will support all measures to stop the violence in Libya, the Sme daily reported.


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