Days after clashes began in Libya's capital city of Tripoli, Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister of External Affairs requested Indian nationals from Tripoli to return to India, citing that they won't be able to evacuate them later.
The North African country of Libya went into a crisis when Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar ordered his troops to advance on Tripoli, seat of the internationally-recognised Unity government. Haftar's forces opened fired in the western region of the city and had seized key areas of the country's south since the start of the year. NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since then, dozens of militias have fought for control of the North African country. Haftar's forces have emerged as a key player, opposing the government in Tripoli and backing a parallel administration in the east.
"The time has come," Haftar said in an audio message released at the start of the month, by his self-proclaimed Libyan National Army.
Expressing her anxiousness and concern, MEA has requested the citizens to inform their relatives and near and dear ones to leave the war-torn country, before the flights become un-operational. She was expressing her concern over 500 Indian citizens who are still in the country.
Swaraj has been prompt to reply to the concerns of the citizens and has been actively contacting the embassies of all other countries with respect to the problem.
Swaraj's step has been appreciated by Indians and NRIs.
Last year, Sushma Swaraj faced strong criticism after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that 39 Indians were killed in Iraq’s city of Mosul, after four years of continuous hopes that they will be back.