Cyprus is taking all measures to ensure national security remains intact President Nikos Christodoulides said on Saturday, amid growing criticism and fears over the use of the British bases in Akrotiri as one of the launching pads for Houthi attacks in Yemen.

“On matters of national security, we must be frugal on public statements. All I can say is that all measures have been taken from the onset – not because of the specific event – to ensure there are no incidents in our country.”

Christodoulides was responding to a question over whether there are fears of a retaliatory attack against Cyprus even though it is not directly involved, because the UK bases in Akrotiri were used on Friday to bomb Yemen, targeting Houthi positions.

The US also carried out a follow-on strike from a guided missile destroyer USS Carney early on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of the bases being used in that attack.

He said Cyprus “remained vigilant” but specified the “unacceptable actions” of the Houthis also affect the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the EU.

The attacks by Houthis also create broader problems, the president said. Cyprus has been described as particularly vulnerable to the impact of the attacks as 98 per cent of trade relies on maritime transportation.

The government also recently announced measures to protect Cypriot ships passing through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait between Yemen and northeast Africa, due to the attacks by the Houthi militant group.

“We remain vigilant,” Christodoulides said.

“From the beginning, and not because of this incident, we are taking all measures so there are no security issues in our country”.

Christodoulides said he hoped the conditions could be created to “end the war in our neighbourhood. It is something that worries us.” He also added he hoped talks to resolve the Palestinian problem could be resumed.

Anger against British bases

The developments sparked increased calls for the protest slated to take place at the Akrotiri bases on Sunday at 11am organised by the Cyprus Peace Council.

“The USA and Britain have turned Cyprus into an aggressive launching pad against the peoples of the region. The US-British air strikes carried out last night [Friday] in Yemen from the Akrotiri military bases expose Cyprus and make it part of the danger of a general flare-up in the Middle East,” the Cyprus Peace Council said.

It added that with the war in Gaza continuing “and the imperialist operations in the region escalating, the danger of a general war breaking out is now visible, with Cyprus in the very eye of the storm.”

The Cyprus Peace Council described the British bases as “a remnant of the colonial regime, crippling the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus and putting the peoples of the region in constant danger, in violation of international law”.

At the same time, the protest seeks to “demand an end to the genocide being committed against the Palestinian people”.

Akel has thrown its weight behind the protest, while the Green party said people in Cyprus were worried by how the bases were being used.

“There is an urgent need to open, with due seriousness the debate on the end of the British bases.”

This is not the first time the bases have been used by Britain for war operations, with reports last month that Cyprus was ‘kept in the dark’ on use of British bases for Israel-Gaza war.

The UK military told the British parliament it has no “formal requirement” to inform Cyprus of its military and intelligence operations from the island.

The bases were also used during the UK’s attacks on Isis.

It is understood that in cases where Cyprus is informed, it has no say on what happens, as the bases are classed as sovereign territories of the UK.