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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-20

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] FOREIGN MINISTRY MEETING EVACUEES
  • [02] EVACUEES CONTINUE ARRIVING VIA SEA
  • [03] GREECE - EU

  • [01] FOREIGN MINISTRY MEETING EVACUEES

    Around 11,500 civilians have fled war torn Lebanon via Cyprus since the Israeli strikes began and the number will rise. For the better coordination of the situation, a meeting was held at the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, in the presence of members of the Cabinet and the Police leadership

    In statements after the meeting, Foreign Minister George Lillikas said that Cyprus has asked for other European countries to open up their borders and help evacuate non combatants from Lebanon.

    Moreover, the government of Cyprus has requested more aircrafts to arrive in Cyprus to carry all those foreign nationals who are fleeing Lebanon back to their homelands.

    Lillkas held a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomiya, whose country is holding the EU rotating presidency.

    «He promised that together with the Commission, they would make every effort to respond to Cyprus requests, acknowledging that only by a common European action, we will be able to offer our humanitarian services to all those people, and that Cyprus has exceeded itself and any other country in matters of offering its services, he said.

    He clarified that we will not offer long-term accommodation to those who are fleeing Lebanon. We are making efforts so that their stay is only for few hours, when needed. That is the reason why we have asked for more aircrafts, so that by the time they arrive at the ports, the soonest possible they will be transferred to Larnaca and Paphos airports for immediate departure to their countries.

    In case there is a flow of Lebanese refugees towards Cyprus, he said that such possibility would be examined with the EU and the United Nations to coordinate actions, but clarified that there is no such issue yet.

    Based on the European policy, if there is flow of refugees from Lebanon, other European countries will have to accommodate them as well, he added.

    Regarding the cost, the Foreign Minister said that there is some cost for the government of Cyprus, but most of it is covered by the countries whose nationals are affected.

    But he noted that if the cost is unbearable, then Cyprus will ask for help from other countries.

    When it comes to saving lives, and because we have experienced human tragedy and war in 1974, the Republic of Cyprus will pay a cost he added.

    Besides European nationals, there are requests from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, the Ukraine, Russia, Mexico and India for Cyprus to accommodate their nationals who abandon war torn Lebanon.

    «Already, around 1,000 Indian nationals will be transferred from Lebanon via Cyprus back to India, he said.

    [02] EVACUEES CONTINUE ARRIVING VIA SEA

    More than 20 flights are scheduled to be carried out in the next 24 hours, to transport to their homelands the foreign nationals who arrived in Cyprus from war-torn Lebanon.

    Flights are scheduled for Lisbon, Brussels, Stockholm, Leeds, Paris, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and other destinations.

    The departure lounges at Larnaca International Airport are packed with thousands of evacuees as they are trying to secure flights out of Cyprus to their final destinations.

    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper left with the 120 Canadian nationals who fled from the Israeli bombardment in Lebanon. They arrived in the early hours on the Blue Dawn cruise ship.

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis also left on board a C-130 transport plane carrying 100 Greeks who arrived on the Crete II cruise ship.

    More ships are expected to dock at Larnaca Port throughout the night, ferrying evacuees. The Greek frigates Psara and Themistoclis, as well as the Italian naval ship Luigi Durand de la Penne are scheduled to dock Thursday evening while around midnight the Cypriot cruise ship Serenade which was hired by the British government to carry British nationals was expected to arrive.

    Another Greek vessel Alkion will ferry French nationals while the American nationals are expected on the USS Nashville and Orient Queen at dawn. The Indian MS Dubai is also scheduled for arrival at Larnaca Port.

    [03] GREECE - EU

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis said that Cyprus and Greece are in close cooperation in the massive effort to transfer foreign nationals out of Lebanon.

    The minister, who received Greek nationals, noted that the Cypriot government is trying to help not only Greeks and Cypriots but also any citizen who has asked for assistance.

    He added that the EU must reinforce the Cyprus government with planes for the evacuation of the thousands foreign nationals reaching the islands ports.

    ``Cyprus cannot accommodate the thousands of foreign citizens, he said, noting that the EU and other countries must help in evacuating their nationals from Lebanon.


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