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06-05-2023 10:54

Written statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Constantinos Kombos for the completion of the Special National Plan “ESTIA”

Today, I reconvened the Ministerial Crisis Management Team (Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior, Justice and Public Order), following the completion of civilian evacuation flights from Sudan. We have decided that the Special National Plan "ESTIA", which was activated on 25 April following requests from the authorities of friendly countries, has now been completed.

In total, 2611 citizens from 29 different countries were evacuated through Cyprus, escaping the conflict in Sudan. In such circumstances, close cooperation is key for the effective response of the international community. In this respect, the Republic of Cyprus is a factor of regional stability and a safe harbour. This has been reaffirmed in the last days.

To this end, the cooperation with the staff of Diplomatic Missions of countries whose citizens travelled to Cyprus, has been exemplary.

I would like to express the heartfelt gratitude of the Government of Cyprus to all the government services, which cooperated harmoniously during the operations. I wish to thank their staff who has worked tirelessly and selflessly, day and night for the last eleven days, so that the evacuation operations can be carried out in a timely and efficient manner.

I would also like to make a particular reference to the professionalism and dedication of the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who, under the guidance of the National Crisis Management Team, were present at the Coordination Centre “ZENON” in Larnaka, while working in close cooperation with the staff of our Diplomatic Missions in Cairo and Amman.

The successful implementation of the “ESTIA” Plan would certainly not have been possible without the continuous efforts of all the volunteers, the men and women of the Cyprus Red Cross as well as those working in cooperation with the members of the Cyprus Civil Defence. I thank them sincerely for their wholehearted and unreserved support.

Cyprus remains committed to reinforce, in any way possible, the efforts of the international community to address the humanitarian situation in Sudan, while at the same time supporting efforts aiming towards a successful mediation between the two parties to reach a political solution as soon as possible.