EU readies to evacuate Libya, but divided over Qaddafi | Pakistan Today

EU readies to evacuate Libya, but divided over Qaddafi

BRUSSELS – European governments readied to evacuate thousands of citizens from Libya Monday as oil-rich Tripoli warned of a “fight to the last bullet”, but cracks remained on how to handle Moamer Qaddafi. As British Prime Minister David Cameron made a surprise visit to Egypt, whose veteran leader Hosni Mubarak was toppled in the second Arab uprising after Tunisia, a deadly crackdown in Libya only emboldened protesters who stormed the state broadcaster and torched police stations in Tripoli.
With the revolutionary challenge to diehard leader Qaddafi’s 41-year rule reaching fever pitch, his son Saif al-Islam warned that “rivers of blood will run through Libya” in a blunt threat to enter “civil war.” Portugal Monday sent a military plane to Tripoli to evacuate its nationals and those of other EU countries. The C-130 Hercules aircraft was expected to be in the Libyan capital within “three or four hours,” said Antonia Braga, minister with responsibility for Portuguese communities.
And in Brussels, Portuguese Foreign Minsiter Luis Amado said a second plane was on standby to evacuate some 50 Portuguese nationals from the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. As Italy and Bulgaria meanwhile joined China in warning against all travel to Libya while Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said counterparts from around the 27-state EU were envisaging pulling people out, particularly from the eastern opposition stronghold of Benghazi.
“We are extremely concerned, we are coordinating the possible evacuation of EU citizens coming from Libya especially from Benghazi,” Jimenez said. British energy giant BP said it was preparing to evacuate staff from Libya, as did Italian industrial giant Finmeccanica.

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