Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen arrived in Cyprus on Wednesday at noon for an official visit aimed at discussing the implementation plans of the ‘Amalthia’ initiative for humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

Cohen was received by his Cypriot counterpart Constantinos Kombos and by Israel’s ambassador to Cyprus Oren Anolik.

Cohen paid a visit to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) headquarters in Larnaca and then headed to the town’s port to witness firsthand the coordinating efforts to arrange and transport humanitarian aid from Cyprus.

“We want to create a fast-track process for humanitarian aid sent to Gaza,” Cohen said after the visit to the JRCC headquarters.

“Israel, along with other regional partners, are promoting the maritime humanitarian corridor.”

Echoing Cohen, Kombos said “Cyprus is ready.”

“We are waiting for your green light for the first trip,” the foreign minister told his Israeli counterpart.

The foreign ministry’s spokesperson Theodoros Gotsis later added that during the visit to the JRCC headquarters, “Cohen had the opportunity to learn about Cyprus’ complete readiness for the immediate use of the humanitarian corridor for transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

“All procedures have been completed and the technical teams from both countries will continue their discussions to act promptly in launching the corridor,” Gotsis added.

Government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis said that that last week a technical team from Israel visited Cyprus, held meetings and visited the infrastructure involved in the implementation of the initiative.

Meanwhile, the ship initially identified as RFA ‘Lyme Bay,’ reported by various sources as the first humanitarian aid ship sent from Cyprus to Gaza, was still waiting to dock. It reportedly left Larnaca over the weekend in a move heralded by the government as the start of the humanitarian maritime corridor.

There is, nevertheless, confusion regarding the exact location of the ship. According to what the UK Undersecretary of State Andrew Mitchell said on Tuesday during a parliamentary session “Lyme Bay is loaded with supplies in Cyprus, and is ready to sail once we can be assured that the support can be received and delivered.”

According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), in a parallel debate in the House of Lords, the other Undersecretary of State Richard Benyon said that “the RFA Lyme Bay is off Cyprus, ready to go and that will require the consent of both sides of the conflict to dock.”

“I can’t say anything more than that,” Benyon added.

However, according to ‘Marine Traffic’, a maritime analytics website which provides real-time information on the movements of ships and the current location of ships in harbours and ports, on Wednesday afternoon the position of the RFA ‘Lyme Bay’ was pinpointed off the northwestern coast of Spain and apparently en route to the UK.

On top of that, ‘Navy Lookout’, an independent UK publication run by naval journalists with contributors which include ex-forces personnel and academics, tweeted on Wednesday that the HMS Duncan, a UK destroyer which the publication claimed would escort the ‘Lyme Bay’ vessel to the shores of Gaza, was also seen arriving in Spain on Monday.

The tweet then hinted at the possibility that the humanitarian aid mission to Gaza was scrapped due to it being too risky or impractical.

On October 13, a press statement released by the UK government said “a Royal Navy task group will be moved to the Eastern Mediterranean next week as a contingency measure to support humanitarian efforts.”

According to the statement, the task group included the ‘Lyme Bay’ vessel.

As of Wednesday, no UK or Cypriot official had yet confirmed whether the vessel that departed from Larnaca port last weekend has unloaded its humanitarian cargo.

Despite the uncertainty regarding the vessel, on Wednesday the US Defence Minister Lloyd Austin had a phone conversation with his Cypriot counterpart Michalis Giorgallas, whom he thanked for his close cooperation and support to the US regarding the ongoing humanitarian operations and for ensuring the safety and security of US nationals in the region.

According to the Pentagon press secretary Major General Pat Ryder, “Austin commended Cyprus for its steadfast support to Ukraine and role in supporting the flow of humanitarian aid to Israel and Gaza.”

Ryder added, “The two leaders also expressed appreciation for the expanding bilateral defence relationship between the United States and Cyprus.”