Cyprus is preparing to receive foreign nationals as a country of stability and security, Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Thursday after a ministerial meeting looking into how Cyprus will handle a possible exodus of throusands of people from Syria and Lebanon.
Kasoulides said that on Wednesday he had meetings with the US Ambassador, the British High Commissioner and the Attaché of France to Cyprus, because of their potential participation in a possible military operation against Syria, due to the use of chemical weapons by both sides in the civil war.
He said that he has already informed political party leaders about his discussions with the three foreign diplomats, noting that he does not wish to participate in a domestic political discussion with political parties while the crisis is still going on.
Asked about the deployment of six RAF Typhoon interceptor fighter jets to the British Base in Akrotiri, the Minister said had earlier that “the information that we have is that these jets have the capability of air defence of the British Base in Akrotiri.”
Asked about the possibility of an attack by the Assad regime against targets such as the twin British military bases in Cyprus, Kasoulides said it was one in a million for this to happen.
Kasoulides said that “we are ready to receive 10,000 people every day, given that within 48 hours 10,000 people will leave for their countries.”
Asked by reporters to say for how many days this can go on, the Minister said that “as long as their arrival and departure takes place normally, in the way I have described, there is no limit of days.”
To a remark that Israel and Turkey have missile systems, while Cyprus does not, Kasoulides said that Cyprus is a peaceful country of stability and security and does not sense the same dangers as these two countries.
He recalled that the patriot missiles were given to Turkey by its allies, due to the dangers the country was facing after a Turkish plane was hit by the Syrian air defence.
Get all the latest news and videos in your inbox. Register FREE