Tanker poised to pick up Greeks in Libya

A Greek-owned tanker has docked in a Libyan port in the hope of picking up some of about 300 Greeks that live and work in the country and who are trying to flee amid increasingly bloody clashes between pro-democracy protestors and security forces.

The Minerva Antonia, owned by the Minerva shipping company, has docked at the northern Libyan port of Ra?s Lanuf in the Gulf of Sirte. After contact between the Greek Foreign Ministry and the shipping firm, it has been agreed that the tanker will pick up any Greek citizens who want to leave Libya.

Any Greeks in Libya who want to board the ship have been advised to contact the local embassy or the ministry?s crisis management unit on +30 210.368.17.30.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Dollis said that Greece is also trying to gain permission for four C-130 military cargo planes to land at various airports in Libya to fly Greeks home. He said that Athens has been in touch with officials at the airport in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, but has not made headway with any of the others.

Dollis said that Greece faced a major logistics challenge in trying to get Greeks in Libya to a port or airport as many of them work at building sites in remote areas that are up to 200 kilometers from the nearest point of exit.

?We are trying to get in touch with as many people and companies as possible,? he said. ?We are speaking to other countries that are trying to do the same thing so that we might pool our resources and retrieve our citizens.?

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