Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos on Saturday said he is concerned about a possible Iranian attack on Israel and the consequences it would have for Cyprus.

During an interview at the Delphi Forum in Greece, Kombos said that if Iran strikes Israel directly, “we will be faced with a paradigm shift, which will affect both the operational and political stance of this country and the consequences it will have on the wider region”.

He added: “In the past there was the possibility of predictability, which served as a background to be able to deal with a crisis when it arose. Right now, there is no such predictability.”

Kombos said that Cyprus is preparing for possible eventualities but stressed that everything should be done with great speed, as diplomatic and political time has been squeezed.

At the same time, he explained that a reaction from Iran would be an escalation and expansion of the Middle East crisis in the worst possible way.

“The message we want to convey is restraint,” Kombos said, adding that the consequences of such an escalation would be unpredictable.

“As the Republic of Cyprus, we are directly affected by this in many ways,” the minister said.

First, he spoke about the possibility that there may be a need to evacuate third country nationals from the region and therefore Cyprus may have to activate the National ‘Estia’ Plan – a possibility for which it has already prepared.

“A second issue, which is of great concern to us, is the possibility of migratory flows. And here we should clearly distinguish between the two issues. It is one issue of evacuations to repatriate third country nationals and it is another issue of the refugee flows that may result from such an escalation,” he said.

He explained that the problem of refugee flows is more complex for Cyprus and now there is a large increase in the number of arrivals from Syria. Even though the Republic of Cyprus has made progress in the way it manages asylum applications, he said, the very high numbers of arrivals are reversing the positive result.

For this reason, he said, the Republic of Cyprus has been making a systematic effort to find a solution, in the context of which the President recently visited Lebanon.

The migration problem is common to Cyprus and Lebanon, therefore the solution should be common, with the contribution of the EU,” he said.

Kombos noted that the aim of the current government is to enlarge the diplomatic footprint of the Republic of Cyprus so that it is not a single-issue state, but that it also works to the benefit of the country’s national issue, which is existential.