Cyprus to consent to port for Gaza on condition of agreement by all parties

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-28 03:23:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NICOSIA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus said on Wednesday that it would consent to building a port for the purpose of relaxing the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip if all parties involved in the issue agree.

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides dismissed Israeli media reports suggesting that Cyprus and Israel had already agreed on a proposal made by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman during a visit to Nicosia a week ago.

"There is no agreement yet. Cyprus is ready to play a role in the issue on condition that all parties involved would agree, but there are no developments to the extent suggested by Israeli reports," Christodoulides said.

A report on Wednesday by an Israeli newspaper said that the Palestinian Hamas movement, which has control over the Gaza Strip, made its acceptance conditional on the release of militants who have been held in Israel since 2014.

Israel was reported to have demanded the release of two Israeli citizens held by Hamas and the return of the remains of two Israeli soldiers in exchange for the release.

The Israeli port proposal involves the construction of a special pier in Cyprus to be solely used for reloading cargo onto smaller vessels capable of using shallow port facilities in Gaza after passing an Israeli vetting.

Cargo could include electricity generators, foodstuffs and potable water, as well as other goods needed by people living in Gaza.