Cyprus wants and “can play a mediating role” in de-escalating the ongoing crisis in Israel and Palestine, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Monday.

He said President Nikos Christodoulides had encouraged “the start of a dialogue for the de-escalation of the situation and the uninterrupted provision of humanitarian aid” during a visit to Israel on Saturday night, while also “pointing out that it is necessary to avoid the loss of civilian lives on all sides”.

Letymbiotis was speaking to CyBC radio about Christodoulides’ impromptu visit to Tel Aviv to meet President Isaac Herzog and Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday.

Additionally, he said Cyprus’ position is that the European Union “should have a more active role in developments”.

In the next few days, Christodoulides is expected to “convey some of Israel’s specific requests” to the EU.