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Cyprus government ''deeply concerned'' with situation in Lebanon
2006-07-18 10:40:24

Nicosia, Jul 18 (CNA) ? The Cyprus government has expressed its deep concern with the escalation of war operations in Lebanon and the increasingly worsening situation, pointing out that the victims are mainly non-combatants, peace and stability in the region.

Deputy Minister to the President and Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardes said that ?Cyprus, as a neighbouring country to Lebanon and an EU member, calls on all those involved to show self-restraint and discretion, terminating the dead-ended circle of armed violence, the tragic outcome of which is not only the loss of human lives, but also the loss of the prospect to achieve a settlement of the long standing Middle East problem, soon.?

Pashiardes said that Cyprus has become ''a safe exit and salvation bridge, in the major operation of saving citizens trapped in flaming Lebanon,? and assured that the Cyprus government ?will continue to provide every practical facility and every possible help, for the evacuation and the safe transfer of EU and other citizens, who desperately seek to come out of the raging fire of war.?

Replying to questions, Pashiardes said that there have been some practical problems with the return of three Cypriot children to Cyprus on board the Greek vessel ?Ierapetra?, which docked in Larnaca port this morning.

The three children were stranded in Nabadiye, south Lebanon and were taken by road yesterday to Beirut, under the protection of the Cyprus embassy.

Pashiardes also said that the Cypriot Foreign Ministry has asked for an explanation from Britain as regards the use of the two British Bases on the island for the evacuation of British and other nationals from Lebanon.

He noted that Nicosia is informed about every such effort made through the Bases.

?They ask beforehand for the consent of the Republic,? Pashiardes added.

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