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MFAT Update On Lebanon Evacuation Plans

MFAT Update On Lebanon Evacuation Plans

19 July 2006

Between 80 and 90 New Zealanders in Lebanon have now registered their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Ministry continues to liaise with British authorities, in Beirut and London, about evacuation planning which would include New Zealanders. Both Britain and Australia have said they are willing to help those New Zealanders in Lebanon who wish to leave.

Britain’s Foreign Office has advised that they are actively putting in place evacuation procedures and that the priority is to ensure a safe evacuation. MFAT will be advised as soon as formal evacuations get underway.

New Zealanders have been asked to keep their travel documentation readily accessible, and to listen to English-language radio stations. They will be contacted about firm evacuation plans by MFAT staff in Wellington.

The Honorary Consul in Cyprus will be on hand to assist any New Zealanders evacuated there. He will be supported by Embassy staff from Rome and High Commission staff from London who will travel to Cyprus.

Some British nationals, vulnerable citizens considered priority cases for evacuation, have been able to leave on helicopter flights and on one British navy ship. The Ministry has not been advised that New Zealanders were included.

Any New Zealander who has been able to leave Lebanon is asked to contact the Ministry.

New Zealanders and their families can obtain information from the Ministry’s travel website www.safetravel.govt.nz or by telephoning 04-4398000.


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