Navy decides to despatch 3 naval warships to Libya

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) The Indian Navy has decided todespatch three naval warships including its largest amphibiousvessel INS Jalashwa to evacuate its citizens stranded introuble-torn Libya.

"We have sent a proposal to the Defence Ministry tosend three warships including two destroyers and the INSJalashwa to Libya to bring back around 18,000 Indians stuckthere," Navy sources said here.

"The final decision on sending the warships on the7,000 miles voyage to Tripoli would be taken at thehighest-level by the Defence Ministry in consultation with theExternal Affairs Ministry (EAM)," they added.

If the ships are ordered to move towards Libya, itwill take them at least 10 days to reach their destination.

The Defence Ministry had yesterday recieved a requestfrom the EAM to see if it could help in bringing back Indiancitizens from there.

Officials said there were a number of issues includingfacilitating the entry of Indian vessels into Libyan harbourwere also being considered by the Government.

The Jalshwa is the largest available ship with theIndian Navy, which can be used for carrying out humanitarianefforts of this kind.

The warship is usually deployed in Vishakapatanamunder the Eastern naval Command but was deployed in Mumbai onthe western seaboard for taking part in the TROPEX exercises.

The EAM has already hired a ship named Scotia Princewith capacity of carrying 1,200 passengers to do the task. PTIAJD

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