The government of India has imposed a ban on Indians travelling to Libya due to the ongoing Islamic State crisis in the North African country.
A statement published by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated:
“In view of prevailing security situation in Libya, security threats and challenges to lives of Indian nationals in Libya, the government of India has decided to impose travel ban on Indian nationals planning to travel to Libya irrespective of the purpose,
“All immigration authorities have been notified in this respect. Indian nationals may please take note of the travel ban for compliance”, the statement said.
According to the statement, the ban which was imposed indefinitely has been effective since May 3 this year.
Libya and India have enjoyed strong bilateral ties due to their similarities on foreign policies, and other views. Libya supported India’s push for a permanent seat in the Security council, during the Libyan civil war, India refused to vote for resolutions by the UN Security Council which would result in NATO action against Libya, both countries also enjoy great bilateral economic benefits.
Prior to the ongoing conflict in Libya, there were thousands of Indians working in the north African state, most of who left the country as it plunged into chaos in 2011. The Indian government also deployed naval ship and air planes to help evacuate their citizens from the country to nearby Egypt and Malta.
India had at that time imposed a ban on the emigration of Indians to Libya. Following the creation of a new government and as the hostilities abated the ban was partially lifted.
The Indian embassy in Libya which is currently operating in Tunisia has broadcast several advisories asking Indians to leave Libya due to the ongoing quest for more control by the Islamic State in Libya(ISIL).
ISIL has over 5000 terrorists in Libya and although they currently control the coastal region of Sirte, they have plans to expand their domain.