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U.S. military to airlift Egyptians from Libya-Tunisia border

03-04-2011 10:03 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama announced Thursday he has authorized the use of U.S. military aircraft to help Egyptians, who have fled to the border between Libya and Tunisia, to get them back home.

Speaking from the White House, Obama said the United States commended the governments of Tunisia and Egypt for their response, "even as they go through their own political transitions," to the people fleeing Libya.

Obama also said he has authorized the U.S. Agency for International Development to charter additional civilian aircraft to help people fleeing Libya return home.

"We're supporting the efforts of international organizations to evacuate people as well," Obama said. "I've also directed USAID to send humanitarian assistance teams to the Libyan border, so that they can work with the United Nations and other international partners inside Libya to address the urgent needs of the Libyan people."

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered U.S. Africa Command to take the lead for defense planning regarding the situation in Libya, according to a Pentagon statement. The Pentagon has already sent several Navy ships to the Mediterranean, providing emergency evacuation and relief capability in light of unrest in Libya.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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