Germany intends to step up its assistance in Libya by offering visas for medical treatment to those wounded in the civil war. The visas are to be issued with minimal bureaucracy, according to German officials.
The Libyan civil war has taken a heavy human toll
Berlin plans to implement a humanitarian airlift that would provide Libyans, who were severely wounded during the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi, with access to treatment in German hospitals.
"We are working with our Libyan partners to create the conditions for this (airlift) as quickly as possible," a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry said.
A medical team from the German military arrived in the Tunisian city of Tunis on Tuesday, according to the Foreign Ministry. The German government is currently in discussions with the National Transitional Council (NTC) about how many Libyans need treatment.
The German embassies in Tunis and the Egyptian capital, Cairo, have been instructed to issue visas as quickly as possible for the wounded. In pressing cases, Berlin's recently reopened embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, would also handle visa cases.
Berlin's goal is to issue "visas for the wounded quickly and with little bureaucracy," making Germany the only country in Tripoli issuing visas for the 25-nation Schengen area in Europe, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The NTC has said that in Tunisia alone there are 2,000 badly wounded Libyans who need treatment. In total, the transitional government estimates that 30,000 people have died in Libya's civil war and 50,000 have been wounded.
Author: Spencer Kimball (dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer