The chief of staff for the US National Security Council (NSC) was on the island for discussions with Cypriot and Israeli officials on Cyprus’ initiative to create a humanitarian maritime corridor aiming to bring aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, the US embassy announced on Friday.

According to the embassy, Curtis Ried told the officials that the US remained committed to working with Israel, the ROC, and other partners, including the United Nations, to address the acute humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza.

Ried also discussed the international community’s response to the Houthis’ “reckless and unlawful attacks” against maritime traffic in the Red Sea, including commercial ships.

“The attacks pose an unacceptable threat to global commerce and navigational rights and freedoms,” the embassy said.

In meetings with Cypriot officials, Ried discussed the strength of the US-Cyprus bilateral relationship and “explored ways to continue deepening political, economic, security, and person-to-person ties between the two countries,” the embassy added.

Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos reiterated Cyprus’ readiness to contribute to the continuous and safe delivery of humanitarian aid to the civilian population in Gaza, noting that the use of the humanitarian maritime corridor remained a credible option in this direction. Kombos participated on Monday in the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

Cyprus has been touting the maritime humanitarian corridor despite EU concerns over ‘logistical difficulties’.

A shipment of aid on the RFA Lyme Bay which was part of a coordinated effort between the UK and Cyprus failed to successfully dock in Gaza and deliver the supplies earlier this month.

Two weeks after leaving the island, the RFA Lyme Bay ultimately had to deliver the aid through the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.