Germany to evacuate migrants from Tunisia to Egypt: minister

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany will send three ships to evacuate some 4,000 migrants in Tunisia to Egypt, after they fled there to escape the violence in Libya, Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Thursday.

"The German government has decided to bring migrants from Tunisia to Egypt," Westerwelle told reporters after a meeting with his Slovak counterpart.

"The pictures coming out of Tunisia are overwhelming," he said. "Most of the migrants are Egyptian," adding that the German navy warships were on their way.

"I'm working on the assumption that already tomorrow the first operation will begin," Westerwelle said, adding the evacuation was part of a sweeping United Nations mission.

Europe and the United States on Wednesday mobilised planes, ships and funds to help a massive evacuation effort at Tunisia's border with Libya, in response to UN pleas to repatriate the thousands fleeing the violence.

Most of the thousands massing at the border were male foreign migrant workers: 85 percent from Egypt, but others from as far afield as Bangladesh, China and Vietnam.

© 2011 AFP

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