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NZers Part of British Evacuation From Lebanon

20 July 2006

New Zealanders Part of British Evacuation From Lebanon

More New Zealanders have arrived in Cyprus today as part of a British-organised evacuation from Lebanon.

Four New Zealanders and their family members travelled to Cyprus on board a navy ship, while another New Zealander has advised through family that he has left Lebanon by road.

A child and his mother, who were evacuated yesterday, are now in London.

New Zealand’s honorary consul in Cyprus, and MFAT officials from Rome and London, are on hand as ships berth to provide assistance to New Zealanders.

That will include help with finding accommodation, onward travel arrangements and the issuing of emergency travel documents.

British officials advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday that a formal evacuation is underway, and New Zealanders will be included as part of their planning. Around 90 New Zealanders have registered their details with the Ministry, with most advising they wish to leave.

People have been asked to have their travel documents readily accessible. Because of the sheer number of people wishing to leave, it is expected to take days before the evacuation is completed.

Ministry officials in Wellington are working around the clock to contact New Zealanders in Lebanon to inform them of evacuation procedures. A number have also been contacted directly by British authorities in Beirut. New Zealanders in Beirut who have not been contacted by New Zealand authorities are urged to call +64 4 439-8000. They may also email the Ministry at cons@mft.govt.nz.

New Zealanders should continue to monitor the Ministry’s website, www.safetravel.govt.nz.

ENDS

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