PACE President calls for Europe to support humanitarian evacuation following massive exodus from Libya

Strasbourg, 02.03.2011 – Mevlüt Çavusoglu, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has expressed deepening concern at the plight of refugees and other foreigners currently fleeing or trying to flee from Libya.

“The reports now coming out from UNHCR are dramatic. The humanitarian situation is worsening hour after hour. While already over 110 000 persons have fled Libya, more than 1000 persons per hour are fleeing from Libya into Tunisia.”

“Refugees and migrants are trapped by the conflicts,” he said. “In Libya, 8 000 persons have been recognised as refugees by the UNHCR and are particularly vulnerable,” he added.

“So far, European countries have been successful at helping their own nationals flee from the conflict zone. Now the time has come for Europe to reinforce its assistance to people in distress from other regions.”

“UNHCR and IOM have today made a joint appeal to governments around the world to provide support for an emergency humanitarian evacuation ongoing at the moment.”

“I join their appeal by adding my plea: the help of the entire international community is urgently needed, and Europe should be at the forefront of the response to this crisis,” he concluded.