Foreign Ministry focuses on moving Thais out of Libya


BANGKOK, Aug 4 — Efforts are being made with the Thai embassy in Trpoli, the Libyan capital of Tripoli, and Thailand’s honourary consul in Tunis, the Tunisian capital, to evacuate Thais remaining in Libya, said Thongchai Chasawath, director-general of  Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Consular Affairs Department. 

The first group of eight Thai students returned home Saturday.

Mr Thongchai, who arrived in Tunisia on Friday to supervise evacuation of Thai workers and students from Libya, said he had assigned ministry officials to coordinate with the Thai embassy in Tripoli and the honourary consul in Tunis in cooperating with the Tunisian government in evacuating the Thais from Libya at every point, especially at the border crossing between Djerba and Libya.

He said the border crossing in Djerba is chaotic due to massive evacuation while the Tunisian government prioritises Libyan evacuees.

Evacuation of other nationalities from Libya must be assisted by their own governments.

More than 26,000 people have  evacuated to Tunisia since July 29  and evacuees to that country are still continuing, he added.

In another development, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Sihasak Puangketkeow said in Bangkok that problem of evacuation of Thais at the Libyan border is now settled following talks.

Mr Sihasak said it is found from employers that many Thai workers in Libya wanted to return home on safety concerns.

He said a chartered flight would probably be arranged for the workers wishing to return home while some may have to travel to the Egyptian capital of Cairo and then travel by ship.

Concerned authorities met Sunday to discuss evacuation plans for Thais from Libya to safer areas, said Mr Sihasak.

Despite the ongoing fighting, Mr Sihasak said the Thai embassy in Tripoli would not be closed because embassy staff who are Libyan are still providing assistance to Thais wishing  to continue staying in that country as they are worried about their employment or education status.