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14-04-2024 12:45

Statements by the President of the Republic

Cyprus is not involved in any way whatsoever in any attacks or anything else, said this morning, the President of the Republic, Mr Nikos Christodoulides.

Replying to journalists' questions, upon his arrival at the Arodafnousa Palliative Care Center where the annual "Christodoula March" in support of cancer patients took place, the President of the Republic said: “As you can see the developments, the situation is very difficult. Our hope and expectation are that there will be no further escalation. We consider that an aggravation is not in anyone's interest. In such difficult times, the decisions we have to make are difficult. Difficult decisions which, however, are taken on the sole criterion of how to safeguard the interests of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot people.

It is in this context that we met today. Following yesterday's announcements, we have reviewed the situation, we have seen the latest information both outside Cyprus and inside Cyprus and we will be in a continuous session, we are on alert, everything that needs to be done is being done, we are monitoring the situation very carefully.

Today, at 16:30, I have a scheduled telephone conversation with the President of European Commission. I will also speak with other European leaders. I will be in Brussels on Wednesday for the informal European Council. The situation will be discussed. In this context, as you understand, there is also the burning issue on migration, which is of great concern to us and I hope that some decisions will be made."

It is for this reason that a group of states within the European Union (EU) is being set up on our own initiative, which is calling for decision to be made, particularly on the status in Syria. We will review all these on Wednesday. We are on constant alert; the National Security Council is in continuous session and accordingly we will see what other decisions will be made."

Asked whether there was prior information from the British about the use of the military bases, the President of the Republic said: "No, there was no advance information from the British. The Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke to the British Minister of Foreign Affairs last night and was briefed on the situation, but, no, there was no advance briefing."

Asked about his post yesterday that the processing of asylum applications from Syrians is suspended and what this means, the President said: "It means that asylum applications for migrants from Syria will not be examined. We are in an extraordinary situation. These are difficult decisions, always within the framework of legality, which have a single objective: to safeguard the interests of the Republic of Cyprus, of the Cypriot people. The Republic of Cyprus has over time shown its sensitivity to refugees and to difficult situations in our neighbourhood, and it is in this context that we are accountable to the Cypriot people to make such decisions. I have been saying for a long time that we will make decisions that some people may not like."

He also referred to statements made today by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Justice on the issue.

Asked to comment on the measures taken at places of Iranian interest, the President of the Republic said: "All necessary measures are being taken, not only today. This is not today’s decision; this decision was made days ago. All necessary measures are being taken, there is a continuous evaluation by the relevant agencies and we are in continuous session."

Asked if there is a possibility that Cyprus could be targeted because of the British operations from the military Bases, the President of the Republic said: "Cyprus is not involved in any way whatsoever in any attacks or anything else. Cyprus, –and our role shows it, last night, for example, airplanes came to Cyprus from neighbouring states, which will leave today of course and some have already left– our country proves in practice with many actions that we are not involved in any way.

We hope that there will be no escalation of the situation and we do not believe that in such ways, through aggressive actions can solve any problems."