The Republic of Cyprus is in contact with all its partners as regards the resumption of transporting humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza, via the “Amalthea” maritime corridor, while money have begun to pour in the Fund that has been established for this purpose, Foreign Affairs Minister, Constantinos Kombos said on Thursday.

He noted that when the floating pier that is being constructed by the US off the coast of Gaza will be fully operational, “more than 1500 of tons (of aid) are expected (to be sent) every week and this number could increase.”

Speaking during a press conference during which he presented the work done by the Ministry during the first year of President Nikos Christodoulides’ administration, Kombos noted that in the next days a meeting will be organised in cooperation with the US administration at the Permanent Representation of Cyprus in New York at the level of Permanent Representatives with a view to brief other countries’ Permanent Representatives on “Amalthea”.

He noted that the maritime corridor that has exceptionally and exclusively lifted Gaza’s maritime embargo is of particular significance. “It has been acknowledged world-wide, it has enjoyed a powerful and multidimensional support at the diplomatic level and beyond that,” he said, noting that various meetings that have taken place on this issue, such as the teleconference with his counterparts from the US, the UK, the UAE and the EE and the visits of the European Commission and the European Parliament Presidents to Cyprus.

Moreover he recalled the meeting of senior officials from 36 countries, four organisations and two entities in Cyprus, the international coverage of this initiative, with particularly positive comments and the letter which the US President has sent to his Cypriot counterpart, thanking him “for the leadership from our side as regards this initiative.”

Kombos also said that the “Amalthea” Fund which is structured on the basis of international standards, with transparency and accountability, will be governed by a Council with a management unit, an implementation body, an audit body, with a view to make purchases, secure vessels, purchase services for the operation of the corridor, develop existing infrastructure of the Republic of Cyprus, secure equipment that the Republic of Cyprus will continue to own and logistics support. He added that all this will come from state contribution.

The Foreign Minister said that the contribution of 15 million dollars from the UAE to the Fund during this period of time proves the trust of one of the key partners and thanked the UAE for their cooperation.

He noted that the Republic of Cyprus is not alone in this effort, while a robust basis is being created, that will allow the continuation of this effort in the long-term.

Asked when the operation of the maritime corridor is expected to resume, the Minister that this may happen just before or after the operation of the temporary port infrastructure constructed by the US in Gaza, which according to reports will be on May 1st.

He went on to say that a significant number of US military officers engaged in this effort are in full coordination and cooperation with the Cypriot side.

Kombos noted that the World Central Kitchen had the responsibility for receiving and distributing the aim, however after the tragic incident that took place, a problem came up as regards the security protocols “mainly for the other side.”

The Republic of Cyprus cannot regulate this issue, but we are, he noted, in contact and in cooperation with all our partners and we are exploring any other alternatives until the construction of the temporary port infrastructure, he added.

He also said that part of the cargo of the vessel Jennifer that was not able to be unloaded in Gaza, is back in Cyprus and has been stored, while there was flow of new humanitarian aid.

Moreover he said that money began to pour in at the Fund for Amalthea and that the EU is actively engaged in this.

Asked about the war in Gaza, he said that it has redefined that Middle East issue, and reiterated that the government condemns the terrorist attacks of Hamas and has underlined that any spread of the conflict will be detrimental for the global state of affairs and that a message of “full self-restraint” should be sent.

He also noted that Cyprus has stood alongside the EU and the UN Security Council, requesting an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Referring to Cyprus’ foreign policy pillar, he referred to the ESTIA plan, that was activated twice in 2023, in April when 2,611 citizens from 28 countries, including 14 Cypriots, were repatriated within 12 days, and in October when 1088 were repatriated from Israel.

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