China coordinating with Iraq on worker evacuation

World Today

Photograph by Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images. Smoke billows from an area controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) between the Iraqi towns of Naojul and Tuz Khurmatu, both located north of the capital Baghdad, on June 26.

China has been in close contact with Iraq on the evacuation of workers amid growing sectarian violence in the Arab country, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The Chinese embassy in Iraq has urged the Iraqi government and military to provide security guarantees to trapped Chinese workers and facilitate their evacuation, said Hua Chunying at a daily press briefing.
She denied a report by Chinese magazine Caixin that the Iraqi side declined to provide help, saying, “We are in smooth communication and cooperation.”
“But I cannot provide more details about the arrangements of the evacuation at the moment due to security considerations,” Hua added.
There are some 10,000 Chinese workers in Iraq, most of them in safe areas, with only a small number in dangerous parts of the country, according to the spokeswoman.