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President Papadopoulos: We will exhaust all means to help Lebanon evacuees
2006-07-25 10:40:45

Nicosia, Jul 25 -- President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos reassured that Cyprus would exhaust all existing means in order to deal with the influx of thousands of foreign nationals who come to Cyprus, fleeing war-torn Lebanon.

Asked whether Cyprus has reached its limits regarding the continuous influx of Lebanon evacuees, he said ?we are doing everything possible and we will exhaust all possibilities we have".

President Papadopoulos also expressed his sincere thanks to all volunteers who lend a helping hand to the thousands of people who arrive at Cypriot ports every day.

Meanwhile, the EU Ministers of Justice and Interior as well as Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattinin, expressed on Monday during a meeting they held in Brussels their gratification for the government of Cyprus' stance in coordinating efforts to help foreign nationals flee Lebanon.

Cypriot Minister of Justice and Public Order Sophocles Sophocleous stressed during the meeting that the Republic of Cyprus would "continue to show its humanitarian side in order to deal with the effects of the war in Lebanon and find solutions for the many problems the evacuees are facing".

Mr. Sophocleous also repeated Cyprus' call for more aircrafts to land at the airports of Cyprus with a view to repatriate European nationals who abandoned Lebanon.

He also asked the EU countries to jointly deal with the Lebanese refugees as well as to open their ports and borders to deal with the 50,000 third countries' nationals who leave Lebanon.

"Cyprus is offering a temporary stay and this tactic should be adopted by other member states as well", the Cypriot Minister told his EU counterparts.

More than 1,500 people arrived from war-ravaged Lebanon at the port of Larnaca in the last few hours.

From 2200 until this morning, vessels "Crete ΙI", "Alkion", "Princessa Marissa" and "Serenade" brought to Cyprus Danes, Germans, Swedes, Canadians and other nationals who fled Lebanon.

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