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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-19

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] US - LEBANON - CYPRUS


    Greek Navy frigate ``Psara`` docked at Larnaca Port at 01:00 local time today (2200 GMT), carrying 198 Greeks, 68 Cypriots, including 17 children, four Americans, a Canadian and two Austrians, who fled war-ravaged Lebanon.

    Among the Cypriot children are three from Paphos, who had been trapped in their grandmother`s home in southern Lebanon.

    The Greek citizens were transported by bus to Larnaca port, where they boarded an Olympic Airways plane bound for Athens.

    Norwegian ``Hual Transporter`` also docked at Larnaca Port at dawn, carrying over 1,100 people, of which 813 Swedes, 126 Americans, 116 Norwegians, 32 Lebanese, 26 Finnish, two Canadians, two French nationals, one Turk and one Dane. The passengers began disembarking at 05:30 local time.

    The Americans were met at Larnaca Port by US Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald Schlicher. Forty US marines, who went to the port from the British Bases in Akrotiri, helped the passengers off the ships and assisted in their transportation to hotels.

    Furthermore, at around 05:20 local time ``Ierapetra`` ferryboat, chartered by the French government, sailed from Larnaca port for Beirut to bring back about 2,000 people. On board are 220 Lebanese, foreign reporters and a medical team from the Larnaca General Hospital.

    The foreign nationals arriving in Cyprus depart from Larnaca airport or stay in hotels awaiting arrangements by their embassies to reach their destination.

    Later today, a Greek ship with 900 passengers is expected to dock at Larnaca port.

    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos in statements yesterday assured that ``Cyprus is offering and will continue to offer assistance in this tragedy,`` adding that ``every conflict and death of innocent people must cause sorrow to each one of us.``

    Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sotos Zackheos said a Greek vessel would be departing for Beirut to bring back as many Greeks and Cypriots as possible.

    The armoured-vehicle carrier is expected to reach Beirut port at 16:00 local time.

    Zackheos said that ``all through the night we were dealing with the transportation to Cyprus and the evacuation from Lebanon of the remaining Cypriots.``

    He noted that after talks with the Greek government during the night, it was decided that Cypriots would be able to embark the Greek vessel, adding that this morning a ten-member team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be notifying all Cypriot citizens and Cypriots of Lebanese origin, still in Lebanon, who wish to leave the country.

    Zackheos said yesterday there was a fluctuating number of Cypriots in Lebanon of around 280 and that 68 have already returned to the island, while others are not yet ready to leave for various personal reasons.

    [02] US - LEBANON - CYPRUS

    The US has expressed its gratitude for the help offered by Cyprus to the operation for the evacuation of US citizens from Lebanon.

    Speaking during the regular US State Department briefing, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Maura Harty said we`re so grateful to Cypriots``, noting that they are offering food and drinks to people arriving to the island from Lebanon.

    They`re just being fantastic. Department of Defense is meeting planes as well for security reasons and for protection purposes. We really do want to minimize the time people spend on the ground because this cannot have been a very easy passage for them from wherever they lived to the moment that they arrive in Cyprus. So we will try, to the greatest extent possible, to coordinate arrival of ships with the chartered planes that we have, Harty said.


    Discussions with a view to prepare the ground for a new initiative on Cyprus are very encouraging, British Minister of State for Europe Geoff Hoon has said.

    Hoon`s statement came some weeks after a meeting between Cypriot President Tassos Papapadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the presence of UN Undersecretary General for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari, during which the two leaders agreed to begin bicommunal discussions on Cyprus.

    Speaking to reporters, Hoon said ``we all need to work very hard to find a solution,`` adding ``I think part of that solution at least will be in a European context about free movement, about the ability of people to live and work on both sides of the Green Line.``

    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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