President Christodoulidis: The humanitarian corridor for Gaza has been designed
The President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulidis, mentioned the intention of Cyprus to contribute directly to the humanitarian aid mission to Gaza, as well as the details of the proposal for the maritime humanitarian corridor.
Speaking to the Associated Press, the president of the Republic of Cyprus emphasized that Cyprus' proposal for the creation of a maritime humanitarian corridor from the port of Larnaca to Gaza is the "only one currently being discussed at the international level".
He described the proposal as a feasible way to significantly boost the amount of aid reaching the Palestinian enclave through the Rafah crossing.
He said planning for the roughly 370-kilometer corridor is essentially complete and aid can begin flowing into Gaza once a ceasefire is declared.
At the same time, Mr. Christodoulidis, who is in regular contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, regarding the proposal for the sea corridor, said that giving the "green light" to start the missions is a complex issue that requires complex negotiations.
"Everyone supports this initiative, the European Union, the United States," he noted, emphasizing that "when we say we are a bridge to the region, we show it in action. It is something important for our country."
He said, in fact, that in the near future, ships with a shallow draft will be used to transport the aid and that Cyprus is in contact with Gulf countries that have such ships at their disposal.
“What do we want? We want everything to be ready so that when the situation permits, we can start," he added.
"In the long term, the idea is to build a Gaza port"
In the medium term, the plan calls for the construction of a floating dock off Gaza where all types of ships can unload aid. In the long term, the idea is to build a Gaza port, he explained.
He stressed, however, that this is a "one-way" corridor, meaning Palestinians will not be allowed to use the ships to leave the enclave.
Aid reaching Gaza will be distributed by the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees using its established network, Mr. Christodoulidis said.