Lebanese Fleeing War Arrive in Cyprus
Larnaca, May 15 – A total of ten boats and sailing vessels have arrived at the Larnaca port since Monday evening, carrying around 140 people escaping the fighting between Hezbollah fighters and pro-government forces.
Speaking to the press, Larnaca Marina Director Michalis Fili said that every vessel carries around ten passengers, noting that most of these are Lebanese nationals who have dual nationality. Some are holders of British or French passports.
These passengers will either remain in Cyprus until the situation improves in Lebanon or will travel to another country by plane.
During the Lebanon crisis in July 2006 and throughout its duration, Cyprus had made its emergency services and facilities available to the international community for the repatriation of foreign nationals from Lebanon.
As a result, almost 60,000 foreign nationals arrived in Cyprus for voluntary repatriation. More than 25,000 were nationals of EU member states, there were almost 24,000 North American and Australian nationals (US, Canada and Australia), 8,000 Lebanese (from the total of about 60,000, a sizeable percentage were dual nationals of Lebanon) and 1,700 Indians. In total, nationals of 114 countries were received and offered assistance in Cyprus.