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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-08-24

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The United Nations have informed the Republic of Cyprus that they have decided to set up on the island the administration headquarters of its peacekeeping force for Lebanon, to facilitate the transfer of its personnel to Lebanon, Cyprus Foreign Minister George Lillikas said.

    In statements before leaving for Lebanon on board a French military helicopter, at the invitation of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, Lillikas said that during his visit he will meet his Lebanese counterpart Faazi Salloukh, the Lebanese Prime Minister and with the Orthodox Bishop of Beirut. He will also visit areas destroyed during Israeli raids against Lebanon.

    Lillikas said he will discuss with Siniora and Salloukh the current situation and the developments and he will brief them on the help or the fields in which Cyprus can continue to contribute and offer help by providing services of the Republic of Cyprus for the transport of the peacekeeping force to Lebanon and of humanitarian aid via Cyprus.

    ``The UN have decided to set up in Cyprus the administrative headquarters of the peacekeeping force for the transport of the force to Lebanon,`` he told reporters.

    Lillikas said that the government will work with the UN to set up the necessary infrastructure, in collaboration with UNFICYP (UN peace keeping force in Cyprus) and noted that we have developed various ideas on how we can help the reconstruction of Lebanon, which we will discuss on the ground.

    Lillikas said the UN notified the Republic of their intentions about the force a few days ago.

    Replying to questions, he said the government along with UNFICYP will examine where it is more practical to set up the headquarters.

    It may be in Nicosia to be closer to UNFICYP for easier cooperation, he added.

    Cyprus has been a safe haven for thousands of people who fled war-ravaged Lebanon during the recent fighting. It serves as a transit place for foreign diplomats and other officials travelling to the Middle East, all of whom have praised the government of the Republic for its immediate and successful response to the huge influx of people of all nationalities, leaving the war zone.


    Cyprus Foreign Minister George Lillikas believes that any procedure leading to a political settlement, other than that of discussions at technical committees to prepare the ground for substantive talks, will end in a deadlock.

    He said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had proposed the technical committees procedure. Lillikas also pointed out that following any other procedure would not serve either the goal for a Cyprus settlement or the interests of the Cypriot people.

    Replying to questions before his departure for Lebanon, Lillikas said the speed with which the technical committees can work depends on the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

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