Minister Ahern welcomes safe arrival of Irish evacuees in Syria
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., has welcomed the safe arrival in Syria of Irish evacuees from Lebanon. At 15.00 Irish-time two buses carrying over 80 passengers crossed the border into Syria. The convoy will now travel to Damascus.
A Crisis Response Team dispatched by the Minister from Dublin is in Damascus to assist the evacuees when they arrive later this afternoon. A welcome centre with all facilities has been established. The evacuees will be flown to Dubai very early tomorrow morning and will return to Ireland from there.
The Minister said:
“I am relieved that the convoy with Irish citizens has arrived safely in Syria. Our officials are putting in place arrangements for the individuals and the families to return to Ireland. I would like to thank all those involved in the operation for their speedy and careful response. Consular officials from the Department will continue to monitor the situation and report to me. I will in turn keep the Government informed of developments. The Crisis Centre lines will continue to remain open.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs Crisis Centre line is 1800 242 548. Any Irish citizens who are in Syria and wish to travel home to Dublin on the evacuation flight should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs.
17 July 2006
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