The Republic of Cyprus is trying, within its capabilities, to ensure unhindered humanitarian aid to Gaza, Cyprus President, Nikos Christodoulides said on Sunday, noting that processes were underway on the details.
In his statements to journalists, on the sidelines of an inauguration ceremony in the village of Korakou, in the Nicosia district, and asked about the initiative of the Republic of Cyprus for a humanitarian corridor to Gaza, President Christodoulides said that he would have a telephone conversation with the King of Jordan on the same issue, while an extraordinary visit to Cyprus was to take place, as regards the same issue.
It was later known that the President had a meeting in Larnaca right after the inauguration ceremony with US Foreign Minister, Antony Blinken, who was on his way from Israel to Turkey on Sunday, after meetings in Jordan, Israel and Ramallah on the regional crisis.
“We are trying within the framework of our capabilities and considering that we are the EU member state neighbouring the region, with excellent relations with all the neighbouring states, to ensure that there will be unhindered humanitarian aid to Gaza,” he said. He noted that it was important that both the French President and the President of the European Commission “have adopted our initiative”.
“We are working on the details so that it can be implemented”, he added.
Asked if there were discussions with Israel on the issue of a ceasefire so that humanitarian aid can be provided, the President of the Republic said that “Israel is in favour of our initiative, the Prime Minister himself”. He said the details being worked out relate to how the aid will be delivered, specifically how it will reach Gaza, noting that the sea area around Gaza does not allow for ships to approach. He said that the Government was also talking to the United Nations noting that it was the UN that would receive the aid and not Hamas, “so that it reaches the population.”
Appointment of UNSG envoy is ongoing
To a question regarding the appointment of an envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Cyprus problem, in light of the rejection of Australian former Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, by the Turkish side, the President said that, he was conveying what the UN told him, that the appointment of this, specific personality was not over. “The issue is ongoing”, he said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.