Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos outlined Cyprus’ proposal for a maritime humanitarian corridor to Gaza from Cyprus, referring to solutions that can be implemented at different stages depending on developments, during the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU held in Brussels on Monday.

According to a statement, during the discussion on the Middle East, Kombos again condemned the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, and made particular reference to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Kombos presented Cyprus’ proposal for the creation of a maritime corridor for the unimpeded and safe delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. The foreign minister referred to a “concrete implementation plan with immediate, medium and long-term solutions, as well as technical arrangements” as presented last week in Paris by President Nikos Christodoulides.

The fact that Cyprus is the closest European state in the region with long-standing excellent relations with the states of the region, is a supportive factor in the implementation of the plan, Kombos pointed out.

The Cyprus News Agency reported that some member states have shown interest in contributing if the initiative goes ahead, although they acknowledge the difficulties caused by the lack of a port for docking the aid at this stage.

During the discussion regarding Armenia and Azerbaijan, Kombos welcomed the proposed EU support measures for Armenia to address the current political, economic and humanitarian situation in the country, and “noted the need for additional measures that act as a deterrent to further use of force by Azerbaijan and that address accountability on the part of Azerbaijan for its aggressive behaviour”.

According to the foreign minister, the EU should closely monitor the situation, while efforts for a sustainable peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan “must be based on the principles of recognition of sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity”. He added that “Cyprus supports Armenia’s efforts to protect its cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh” and called on the EU to take the necessary measures.

Finally, in the context of the discussion on Ukraine, Kombos stressed the need, in view of the winter, for a swift adoption of the eighth support package for the country, and according to the statement reiterated “the importance of effectively addressing the circumvention of sanctions”. Regarding the Peace Formula, he stressed that Cyprus would actively contribute to its implementation.