Iran ready to move Lebanese nationals from Ivory Coast: FM

April 12, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, during a telephone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart Ali al-Shami on Sunday, expressed Iran’s readiness to transfer Lebanese nationals from Ivory Coast to Beirut.

“A number of Iranian airliners are ready to move Lebanese nationals from Ivory Coast to Beirut,” Salehi said.
The Lebanese foreign minister thanked Iran for its humanitarian offer.
The two officials also exchanged views about the latest regional developments and Tehran-Beirut ties.
Many of the 9,000 Lebanese nationals who live in Ivory Coast want to return to Lebanon for safety concerns after violent clashes broke out between rival political groups in Ivory Coast, but the Lebanese government which is faced with a political crisis is not able to help the Lebanese stranded in Ivory Coast travel back home.
The clashes in Ivory Coast erupted after incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to the internationally-recognized winner of the November presidential election, Alassane Ouattara.
The news of the escalation of clashes had also raised concerns about the Iranian nationals’ safety because the Iranian embassy in Ivory Coast’s major city of Abidjan is located in the center of clashes between supporters of the Ivorian president-elect Ouattara and his rival President Gbagbo.
But on April 9, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that the Iranian diplomats and expatriates in Ivory Coast have been transferred to a safe place.