Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Constantinos Kombos expressed optimism that operation “Amalthea” for humanitarian aid to Gaza from Cyprus will be activated this weekend.

In statements to CNA, Dr. Kombos said that the planning is for this weekend but there are some issues that have yet to be clarified. The closer we get to the time, we need to be sure that the issues are ΟΚ, he said, adding that “there is an optimism that over the weekend the operation will be activated.”

The view, he added, is that this should be done as quickly as possible but the aim is “not the speed to affect efficiency, to have a balance.”

Asked if the pilot departure took place on Friday, the Foreign Minister said that we are talking about the same, the first departure that will activate (the plan) and “if there is no problem, mainly on the other side, which is not our responsibility of course, as Cyprus, if this is done without a problem, then we consider that it has begun and we will be ready for a second and third mission.”

Asked about the assurances given by the Israelis, Dr. Kombos said, “look, very easily an incident can happen, because of the situation there, people may move towards the aid. “There may be malicious action by some,” he said, adding that there are too many things that despite anyone saying “it’s okay” can’t be predicted.

“It’s an operational issue on the ground. When the ship sets sail, during the journey, when it gets closer, when it arrives, when it unloads, there are too many elements, so nobody can tell you that there is no issue because it is in a war zone that we are moving,” he noted.

The Foreign Minister added that what matters from our point of view is that we have responsibility and control over our mechanism. Beyond that, the other parties, there is the alliance in which “everyone has a role, a responsibility, depending on the capabilities they have.”

He noted that no one is under the illusion that they can control the situation. “There are various issues, that’s why we say the window is this weekend as long as there is nothing to avert this, like any incident, whether in Gaza, Israel or on the borders with Lebanon that causes unrest which you realize will affect the operation, even the weather can cause problems. That’s the situation right now,” he added.

On Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who paid Cyprus a visit, said she hoped that the Cyprus Maritime corridor will be launched either Saturday or Sunday.

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