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17-11-2023 12:09

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding the initiative of Cyprus for the creation of a humanitarian sea corridor to Gaza

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Konstantinos Kombos, in a statement to the media regarding the initiative of the Republic of Cyprus for the creation of a humanitarian sea corridor to Gaza, stated the following:

“The effort of the Republic of Cyprus for the establishment of a sea corridor to transport humanitarian aid to Gaza continues. A secured, fully monitored hub and sea corridor, through which aid can be sent in high volumes and high frequency.  

From the outset, we participated constructively in a discussion that now engages the entire international community. We are proving that we are an active part of the region, contributing with positive and constructive proposals.

We have a specific methodology based on our comparative advantages:

Firstly, geographic proximity.

Secondly, an already existing, sound network of infrastructure.

Thirdly, good neighbourly relations with the countries in the region.

And finally – and most importantly – a relationship of political trust with Israel. A relationship that has been built over the years and which has not emerged accidentally in the last few weeks.

We have had numerous contacts and meetings with EU member states, institutions, countries in the region and international organisations, shaping our approach, by taking into account the positions, concerns and proposals of our interlocutors. Indicatively I will mention two points:

Firstly, the one-way flow will start from the Republic of Cyprus and will not involve individuals but exclusively goods. Secondly, the security of the cargo is intertwined with Israel’s security; without Israel’s consent, there can be no corridor.

Therefore, we are in constant contact with Israel. A technical team visited Israel this week and, as you know, I visited the neighbouring country yesterday, and had meetings with both the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The establishment of a structured dialogue with interdepartmental working groups has been agreed upon.

Objectively and realistically, the developments will influence the effort, as well as the issue of timing, and the synchronisation of will and events.

There is still a long way to go as well as given uncertainty. We will continue our efforts  in an activel, methodicall, and extrovert manner.”