France is putting in place a special ferry to evacuate its citizens in Lebanon who wish to leave starting on Sunday, the foreign minister said.
The ferry will transport to Cyprus any of the thousands of French who want out of Lebanon, which is under attack by Israel. Special Air France flights will bring evacuees to Paris from Cyprus, Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said Saturday.
Some 17,000 French citizens reside in Lebanon and 4,000 to 6,000 others are visiting, Douste-Blazy said on France-Info radio.
"We want to take all the necessary measures for the security of our citizens," Villepin said at the close of the crisis meeting. The government would evaluate the situation in Lebanon "hour by hour" to adapt measures if needed, he said, without raising the possibility of a full-fledged evacuation.