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Over 40 countries to take part in Argonaftis exercise off Larnaca

File Photo: CNA

More than 40 countries will take part either actively or as observers, in this year’s international Argonaftis (Argonaut) search and rescue exercise off Larnaca on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to an announcement, “the scenario includes investigating and rescuing and simulating the removal of a large number of people affected by a crisis in Cyprus, with local authorities working with agencies in other countries to manage the situation.”

“The United Kingdom is contributing to this year’s exercise with the largest number of participants so far,” the announcement said. This will include three officers from the British coastguard officers, a group of foreign office officials and a number from the ministry of international development, plus two consular officers from the British High Commission.

Twenty volunteers from the island’s British community will also take part, “helping to make the exercise as realistic as possible at both the management centre in Kition and the port of Larnaca,” the announcement added.

At the same time, for the first time this year, there will be British Navy participation in the exercise with the HMS Echo, while members of the armed forces from the Bases will also assist in the exercise.

“The United Kingdom attaches great importance to these exercises which help participants to understand how they have to respond to times of crisis. We will continue to work towards strengthening our co-operation with Cyprus in crisis management, aiming at the benefit of both countries,” the High Commission said.

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