In discussions held at Larnaca airport, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and Cyprus President Christodoulides addressed the dire situation in Gaza, where relentless Israeli bombings have resulted in a tragic loss of life.
The health ministry in Gaza reported over 9,700 casualties, with a majority being women and children. The densely populated Gaza Strip is facing disruption of essential services, including water, electricity, fuel, and food.
Blinken and Christodoulides, during their meeting, discussed the urgent need for a dedicated maritime corridor to ensure a continuous flow of humanitarian aid from Cyprus to the civilians in Gaza. Cyprus has initiated this effort with the backing of France, the European Commission, and Israel, aimed at delivering aid directly to the population through the United Nations.
Cyprus is positioned as the nearest EU member state to Gaza, with a distance of approximately 370 kilometers (230 miles). This proximity, coupled with Cyprus’s strong relationships with Arab states, makes it a strategic partner for this humanitarian initiative.
Cyprus’s President Christodoulides, who has also engaged with leaders in the European Union and Egypt, emphasized the importance of swift implementation. He stated, “We must be prepared to act as soon as conditions allow.”
Cyprus has also been a transit hub for foreign nationals evacuated from Israel due to the ongoing conflict.