Spain not expecting a wave of migrants from Libya

February 26th, 2011 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Gödöllö (Hungary), Feb 26 (IANS/EFE) Spain’s secretary-general for defence policy said here Friday that Madrid does not expect to receive a wave of migrants from Libya as a result of the popular revolt against the Muammar Gaddafi regime.Though everything that happens in the Mediterranean and southern Europe affects Spain, “we’re not directly getting migrants flooding in from Libya by sea”, Luis Cuesta told EFE during a meeting of European Union defence ministers to discuss the situation in Libya and the evacuation of EU citizens from the Arab country.

Cuesta attended the gathering in place of Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacon, who called off her trip to Hungary due to a deadly training accident at a military base outside Madrid.

Cuesta recalled that the EU had activated a cell on the ground in Libya to follow and report on the situation there as a basis for making the right preparations “in case it becomes necessary to launch an operation to evacuate European citizens”.

Spain sent a military aircraft Thursday to Libya to repatriate Spaniards and third-country nationals, Cuesta noted.

Travelling on the plane, according to officials at the foreign ministry in Madrid, were some 40 Spaniards as well as citizens of Mexico, Britain, Canada, Portugal, Finland, Ukraine, Romania and Congo.

“Spain has also suspended the sale of defence materiel and armaments to Libya,” he said.


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