18 July 2006
BRUSSELS — The ferry that France chartered to transport French nationals from Lebanon arrived at Larnaca on Cyprus on Tuesday carrying 44 Belgians.
Officials from the French Foreign Ministry who were on board the ship said some 900 foreign nationals were evacuated from Lebanon, 750 of whom were French.
A spokesman from the Belgian Foreign Ministry said there were also 44 Belgians on the ferry. A little of 60 Belgians had been awaiting evacuation from Beirut.
But eventually, just 44 of them could board the ferry because the ship had to depart from Beirut earlier than planned. Due to the change in departure times, some Belgians could no longer be boarded.
In total, some 200 people, primarily Europeans, were unable to be evacuated, foreign ministry officials said.
The remaining group of about 20 Belgians will need to be evacuated from Beirut later on Tuesday by a Norwegian ferry.
A Belgians Airbus will fly to Cyprus on Tuesday to transport the 44 Belgians back to Brussels. Other evacuees are also expected to board the flight.
In total, there are 1,800 Belgians in Lebanon, 600 of whom are tourists or business professionals wanting evacuation.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news