The US and French embassies (and others) are considering evacuations plans for their citizens trapped in Lebanon. An estimated 25,000 US citizens and
17,000 French citizens currently live or work in Lebanon. Cyprus has been designated as the safe harbour for transit out of the area. The French will
have special Air France flights to Paris and Americans will board commercial aircraft back home.
The United States is working on a plan to evacuate American citizens from Lebanon to the neighboring island of Cyprus, the U.S. Embassy said
"We are looking at how we might transport Americans to Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, Americans can then board commercial aircraft for onward travel," an
embassy statement said.
The State Department said Friday that Americans in Lebanon should consider leaving when it is safe to do so, and officials made contingency plans for
the evacuation of people who cannot leave on their own.
Other countries were also working on similar plans. The French foreign minister said Saturday his government would use a ferry to evacuate its
citizens from Lebanon starting on Sunday. Philippe Douste-Blazy said the ferry would transport to Cyprus any of the thousands of French who want to
leave Lebanon. They would then be flown to Paris by special Air France flights.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Lebanon is completely cut off.
The airport has been bombed, a navel blockade is in place and main roads like that from Beirut to Damascus have been effectively closed. That leaves
either ferries around the blockade or an airlift if you need to get out.
It's interesting that Israel has given a 72 hour ultimatum to Lebanon to "stop Hezbollah activity" along it's border.
Considering the French will begin evacuations tomorrow, I'd say this is more of an "all clear" to people to get out while they can than a stab at
any kind of diplomacy.
Israel's military is apparently under full mobilization, there are rumours of skirmishes along the Syrian border, the finger pointing at Iran is
growing more insistent by the minute and the Arab League Secretary General has just announced that "the Peace Process is Dead".
Fasten your seat belts...
[edit on 15-7-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]