CNA News

Humanitarian aid to Gaza to resume very soon, Cyprus President says

The Republic of Cyprus is in contact with the states with which it cooperates on the mission of humanitarian aid to Gaza, so that very soon, with the completion of the work done in Gaza by the US, the mission from Cyprus will resume, the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, said on Wednesday.

Welcoming a group of students and senior officers of the School of National Security of Greece, at the Presidential Palace, the President of the Republic said that as a country that maintains excellent relations with all neighboring states, and as the EU member state that borders this region, “we are trying – always within the framework of our possibilities without exaggeration, the possibilities of a small Member State – to do everything possible, so that this humanitarian crisis that is developing in the region can be addressed and it was important that our country managed to offer an alternative, complementary option to the humanitarian aid mission to Gaza”.

He added that this has been suspended due to the reprehensible attack on members of the humanitarian organization, which was helping to distribute the aid. However, according to President Christodoulides, Cyprus is in contact with the states with which it cooperated from the beginning, for the implementation of this effort, so that the humanitarian aid mission from Cyprus will resume very soon with the completion of the work done in Gaza by the US.

Referring to the completion of 50 years since the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus, President Christodoulides said that the desire of the Greek Cypriot side for the liberation and reunification of the island is a given, adding that “we are doing everything possible to achieve this goal, since in addition to many other negative effects, time creates new faits accomplis that make our effort even more difficult.”

He said that the Cyprus issue is at a “critical juncture”, explaining that “there is an ongoing effort by the United Nations to resume talks.”

“We are”, he said, “in constant coordination with the Greek Government and through you, I thank the Greek Government and the Greek people who have always stood by us in this effort.”

At the same time, he mentioned that this year marks 20 years since the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU, noting that “this is the most important success, at least at the diplomatic level, of the Republic of Cyprus since its foundation in 1960, a success that was made possible precisely because of of the support we had from the Greek Parliament when the issue of EU enlargement was being discussed”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third. The latest round of talks ended in Crans Montana in July 2017 without result. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.