The situation in the Middle East was discussed during a meeting held today, Thursday, October 26, in Thessaloniki, between the Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias and his Cypriot counterpart Michalis Giorgallas, in the presence of the Greek Deputy Minister of Interior, responsible for Macedonia and Thrace, Stathis Konstantinidis.

After the meeting, the two Defence Ministers noted that Greece and Cyprus are affected by this new crisis that has erupted in their wider region. They also assured of their common understanding as regards the enhancement of regional stability that the two countries seek to ensure during this crisis.

Giorgallas noted that he briefed his Greek counterpart on the impact of the Middle East crisis on Cyprus.

“At the moment, the Republic of Cyprus is receiving daily requests from foreign countries to support their efforts, in case the situation deteriorates, to evacuate their citizens from the war zones via Cyprus,” he said.

He further explained that Greece and Cyprus are in cooperation in this regard, in order to facilitate and support humanitarian operations aimed at evacuating foreign nationals from the war zones.

The Cypriot Defence Minister stressed that “Greece and Cyprus have an important role to play, especially in supporting the humanitarian efforts arising from this situation”.

“Once again, I would like to reiterate that the Republic of Cyprus is aligned with the stance of the Hellenic Republic – we support the right of Israel and its citizens to self-defense, but at the same time it must be in full alignment with the humanitarian law and of course with the rights of the Palestinian people,” Giorgallas concluded.

On his part, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias noted that it is very important for Greece and Cyprus to exchange views on the current crisis and to reach a common understanding, as they are both affected by its consequences.

At the same time, he reiterated that “Greece has taken a clear position on the new crisis in the Middle East, expressed by the Greek Prime Minister himself. Terrorism, terrorist attacks, massacres of civilians cannot be tolerated.”

“And we have also consistently said that Hamas’ attack on Israel, and in particular on the civilians of Israel, affects the Palestinian cause and the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people in the worst possible way,” Dendias concluded.

Minister of Defence Michalis Giorgallas is visiting Thessaloniki from 26 to 28 October, to participate in the celebrations for the 111th anniversary of the liberation of the city, the celebration of the Agios Demetrios Patron Saint of the city as well as the anniversary of October 28th, 1940.

A press release by the Ministry says that Giorgallas, who is in Thessaloniki at the invitation of Minister of National Defence of Greece Nikos Dendias, attended on Thursday the flag-raising ceremony at the White Tower and subsequently, the official eulogy held at the Holy Church of the Patron Saint Agios Demetrios, in the presence of Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

On October 28, he will attend the military parade.

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