Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is cutting short his holiday in Prague and returning to Malta for a Cabinet meeting on developments in Libya.

The Cabinet meeting is due to be held tomorrow.

Dr Gonzi was due to return to work at the end of the month. It is the second successive year that Dr Gonzi had to cut short his overseas holiday. He returned to Malta last year following the passing away of former President Guido de Marco.

There are fears that the rapidly evolving situation in Libya will create another humanitarian emergency and an exodus of migrants.

The International Migration Organisation said this morning that it had received hundreds of requests by expatriates wishing to be evacuated from Libya. It this morning dispatched a rescue ship from Benghazi, hoping it will berth in Tripoli.

Dr Gonzi this morning called the chairman of the Libyan Transitional Council, Mahmoud Jibril, to congratulate the Libyan people on the latest developments and offer support and assistance.

Last week, a group of 26 Maltese medics and officials rescued 620 Libyan refugees stranded in Tunisia and took them back home in a three-day mission which Dr Jibril said Libya “would never forget”.

In a statement Dr Gonzi said the scenes witnessed overnight were testimony of the yearning of the Libyan people for freedom and democracy.

Dr Gonzi said the Cabinet meeting tomorrow would discuss the situation of Maltese workers and investments in Libya and set the groundwork for improved relations with Libya.

A Government Contingency Committee was activated this morning to deal with emergencies which could stem from the developments in Libya.

Meanwhile, informed sources said Malta is today expected to recognise the council as Libya's government.

In June, the Maltese government officially acknowledged the Benghazi-based council as the “sole legitimate interlocutor of the Libyan people”, severing contact with Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Malta was the fourth country in the EU and the ninth worldwide to take that action.

Last month, Foreign Minister Tonio Borg visited Benghazi and had talks with Dr Jibril and members of the council.

Dr Borg has also been attending meetings of the Contact Group of countries involved in the Libyan crisis. 

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