Cyprus Republic stands ready to continue to provide assistance to foreign countries for the evacuation of their citizens from Sudan, FM Constantinos Kombos said Wednesday, pointing out that once again Cyprus is proved to be a safe harbor in the region.
In statements to the press following a meeting and consultations he had with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan Ayman Safadi, the Cyprus FM said that so far 11 people of Cypriot origin evacuated the country.
He said that a total of six flights were expected to land to Cyprus today and five flights, with 391 passengers, have arrived since yesterday.
Two flights with 281 passengers people departed already for the UK and two more flights are expected to leave carrying back home the majority of passengers who have arrived in Cyprus.
'Cyprus is ready to provide humanitarian, consular and medical assistance to the evacuated civilians'
As regards the people of Cyprus origin the FM said that 10 have already arrived and one was transferred to the Jordanian city of Aqaba on April 25, on a Dutch evacuation flight.
Four more people are expected to arrive in Cyprus, while seven people are traveling by bus to Egypt. Kombos clarified that one person who was initially on the list of Cypriots wishing to leave Sudan, chose to stay in the country.
The Foreign Minister stated that the situation is “cause for concern and was on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday”. He said that he informed his counterparts that “Cyprus, through partnerships and close relations with other countries in the region, is ready to contribute, providing the necessary facilities for the temporary hosting of civilians”.
He noted that ESTIA national plan has been activated and Zenon coordination center is in full operation. Kombos said that he visited the center yesterday and added that “Cyprus is ready to provide humanitarian, consular and medical assistance to the evacuated civilians”.
The Foreign Minister also said that Cyprus Embassy in Cairo with accreditation in Khartoum and the Honorary Consul played an essential role in locating the people of Cypriot origin in Sudan and assisting in their evacuation. He also thanked his counterparts from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Jordan, Egypt, as well as the EU High Representative Josep Borrell for their cooperation.
He added that Cyprus, because of its location and infrastructure, can play an essential role in such crisis situations, as it did in 2006 with the evacuation of civilians from Lebanon.
Replying to a question as to whether Cyprus can accommodate more flights for the evacuation of foreigners, Kombos said that “we are ready, but this also depends on the situation on the ground and on whether the civilians who want to leave, can reach the evacuation points safely”.
He added that there is still a significant number of people who must evacuate the country and that the security parameters should be considered.