French nationals evacuate Georgia
Current conflict with Russia sees many French nationals leave Georgia on a government-chartered plane.12 August 2008
TBILISI - French nationals, many voicing disappointment at holidays cut short, assembled to evacuate from Georgia on Monday on a government-chartered plane, officials and witnesses said.
The French embassy underlined it was not a forced evacuation but that safe passage back to France had been offered to those that wanted to leave Georgia due to the current conflict with Russia.
A crowd of people with their luggage began assembling at Tbilisi's airport here at 1830 local time (1430 GMT) to board a French plane that was set to arrive with medical supplies.
"It's not an evacuation plan. We are proposing it (the option to return home) to those that want to leave," French ambassador to Georgia, Eric Fournier, told AFP at the scene.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jean-Baptiste Alleaume, who works in financial services in Luxembourg, voiced regret as he waited with his suitcase.
"I arrived on the 8th and wanted to stay to the 19th, so I'm a bit disappointed," he told AFP.
"It's been ages that I've been wanting to do this trip. I hesitated a bit but my brother called to tell me my Mum would have a heart attack if I didn't come back."
Celine Prandy, 27, a kindergarten teacher in Monaco, was leaving her Georgian fiance here after her family implored her to leave.
"I saw how the situation was degenerating and I started to get worried and my family in France was calling me to come back," she told AFP.
[AFP / Expatica]
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