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17° Nicosia,
21 November, 2019
 
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Nicosia keeps Israeli pier request on the down-low

Cyprus does a balancing act over Israeli request to dock on the island

Newsroom

Nicosia is handling with kid gloves the possibility of Israelis operating a dock in Cyprus, where they would be able to monitor humanitarian aid going into Gaza.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, the Israelis have put the issue on the table very recently and the government is mulling over the request.

“What unofficial government sources are saying is that no decision has been taken and it is too soon to be talking about a decision on such a complicated matter that calls for diplomacy and balance maintenance in the region,” said Kathimerini’s Apostolos Tomaras.

Delicate art of balance

Israel appears to show understanding in Nicosia’s balancing act, according to unofficial sources who noted Nicosia was not not shooting the idea down.

A similar request was made in the past, according to Tomaras, who cited sources saying Cyprus has always tried to handle it with care in light of good relations with other countries in the region and the island’s long-standing position on the Palestinian issue.

A possible deal on humanitarian aid could take place with the backdrop dubbed 'the deal of the century' spearheaded by US Presidential senior advisor Jared Kushner

The story made headlines earlier this week when the Jerusalem Post wrote that a port plan for Cyprus was in the works which would allow Israelis to monitor humanitarian aid going into Gaza and put in place mechanisms to search for smuggled weapons.

The defence ministers of Cyprus and Israel reportedly agreed on the principles of the plan, but deputy government spokesperson Klelia Vasiliou said there was no agreement on the issue except that the request was being examined.

A possible deal on humanitarian aid could take place with the backdrop dubbed “the deal of the century” spearheaded by Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s senior advisor.

Last week, Kushner signaled he would be ready for meetings with the Palestinians, following talks he and US peace envoy Jason Greenblatt held in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar.

According to Kathimerini, Nicosia is looking to its neighbours to sound out any possible reactions in case Cyprus gave the nod to the Israeli jetty on the island.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Israel  |  Gaza  |  humanitarian  |  aid  |  jetty  |  pier  |  dock  |  port  |  Middle East  |  Kushner

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