Beijing (AFP) Feb 25, 2011
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said that some of its facilities were attacked in unrest-hit Libya and that the company was evacuating its Chinese employees out of the country.
Some CNPC project camps and operating sites were attacked during "the recent security upheaval" in the oil-rich north African state, the top oil producer in China said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.
All of the company's 391 Chinese employees in Libya were safe and 24 of them had already been repatriated, it said, adding that evacuation of the remaining workforce was under way.
The company did not give any specific details about damage to the sites.
CNPC, the parent of listed PetroChina, has been present in Libya since 2002 and now has oil and gas assets and interests in the country, according to its website. It also provides oilfield services.
China has ramped up a massive air, sea and land operation to evacuate more than 30,000 citizens from Libya, where a popular uprising against strongman Moamer Kadhafi has so far left hundreds dead.
About 12,000 Chinese nationals have so far been evacuated, state media quoted Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao as saying Friday.
China's navy has also dispatched the missile frigate Xuzhou to waters off the Libyan coast to help in the evacuation and protect ships carrying Chinese expatriates from the nation, the People's Liberation Army Daily said.
The frigate had been on anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, the paper said.
According to state media, Chinese citizens living in Libya work mainly in the oil, rail and telecom sectors.
earlier related report
A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief said 3,400 Europeans had been evacuated by member states so far, with an EU monitoring centre helping coordinate efforts to bring home a remaining 3,600 people.
"We have no information about any major problems in the process," added Maja Kocijancic. Several EU nations have dispatched military craft and vessels to pull out their nationals.
The EU however has no staff in Tripoli and has no contacts with opponents to Kadhafi either inside or outside the country, she said.
"European Commission personnel are not on the ground," she said.
The EU was meanwhile working to spell out sanctions against Kadhafi while preparing to offer "considerable money for humanitarian aid", officials said.
Experts assessing needs for the tens of thousands of people spilling across the Egyptian and Tunisian borders "had been able to get to Libya", said a commission spokesman, Raphael Brigandi.
Concerns are high across the bloc over the prospect of a human tidal wave of refugees and migrants reaching Europe's Mediterranean shores from north Africa, with up to 1.5 million would-be migrants from Africa believed holed up in Libya.
Italy, which sees itself in the frontline of a possible "exodus", on Thursday failed to win financial and political support from across the EU to cope with a tsunami of immigrants.
But the EU pledged humnanitarian assistance for those fleeing the violence into Egypt and Tunisia.
An aid package is expected later Friday but EU officials refused to state when the bloc would announce sanctions.
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Russia may send French-built warship to Kurils
Moscow (AFP) Feb 25, 2011
Russia announced Friday that it may send one or even two of the high-tech warships it is buying from France to help protect a chain of islands that are being bitterly claimed by Japan. The statement from Russia's top general is likely to infuriate the Japanese government that is already seething from an unprecedented November visit to the Kuril Islands by President Dmitry Medvedev. The s ... read more
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