Thai officials leaving for Tunisia for Libya evacuation arrangements


BANGKOK, July 30 — The first group of Thai officials will leave for Tunisia tomorrow to arrange the evacuation of Thais from Libya, according to Manopchai Vongphakdi, head of a help centre for Thai citizens in Libya.

According to Mr Manopchai, director-general of the Department of South Asian, Middle East and African Affairs, the officials consist of foreign affairs and labour officials and medics.

They will work in the Tunisian cities of Djerba and Tunis.

Tunisian officials will facilitate the immigration procedures of evacuees at the Libyan-Tunisian border from tomorrow.

The Thai embassy is waiting for Libya’s decision to see if it will waive exit visas for the evacuees. The exemption will facilitate the evacuation.

Mr Manopchai said that India has advised its nationals to leave Libya. Canada has closed its embassy there.

The Thai embassy in Libya has warned 11 Thai students to leave Tripoli at once.

The first group of Thai evacuees will travel by road to Tunis and later board a commercial flight to Thailand.

In 2011 the evacuation of Thais from Libya was done by sea because there were large numbers of Thai and foreign workers at that time.

At present, there are only 1,500 Thai workers in Libya but they are staying at scattered locations, and time is needed to collect the people.