Countries offer to store aid in Cyprus for shipment to Gaza

AP , Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Dec 2023

Cyprus says a number of countries have offered to store humanitarian assistance in the east Mediterranean island nation as part of a plan to ship the aid to Gaza via a maritime corridor.

Sisi and Christodoulides
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during his meeting with Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Cairo, 5 December, 2023. Photo courtesy of theEgyptian Presidency



The countries include the U.K., which last week sent humanitarian aid that is being stored at Larnaca port, from where ships will depart for Gaza once conditions on the ground in the territory allow for it, government spokesperson Constantinos Letymbiotis said Wednesday.

He said the U.K. has also offered a shallow-draft ship capable of approaching Gaza’s shoreline, where it would be able to offload the aid without the need for port facilities required by large vessels.

Earlier this week, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said he held talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who reaffirmed their support for the aid corridor. Israel has also backed the plan but has given no indication yet when the aid could begin to flow.

Last month, Christodoulides told The Associated Press that the proposed maritime corridor of about 230 miles (370 kilometers) is the “only one currently being discussed on an international level” as a feasible way to significantly supplement the trickle of aid getting into the enclave through Egypt’s Rafah border checkpoint.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian president affirmed Egypt's full readiness to receive and coordinate all international aid directed to the Gaza Strip, during a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart in Cairo.

Since mid-October, Egypt has designated North Sinai's El-Arish International Airport for receiving international humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza.

El-Arish city, which is North Sinai's capital, lies some 50 kilometers from the Rafah border crossing.

As many as 239 planes with aid for Gaza have been received at El-Arish airport since 21 October and until 29 November, according to previous remarks by Chairman of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) Diaa Rashwan.


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