Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides argued that the US did not operate a helicopter base in the British Base of Akrotiri as reported by the media, but that the helicopters were there for humanitarian reasons.
Christodoulides was speaking in a House Committee on Foreign and European Affairs closed session.
He said that the helicopters were in Cyprus from August-September 2017 during “a wider global US operation for the safe evacuation of American diplomats.”
He added that over the past few years, Cypriot airbases and ports “have become reference points for third countries who want to use them for exclusively humanitarian reasons.”
According to Christodoulides, the Republic has a significant number of agreements with many states to provide its ports and airports exclusively for humanitarian operations and for the evacuation of civilians.
He said that in 2017, Cyprus provided its facilities to other countries in 672 cases. This is particularly important and an indication of the country’s regional role, the Minister noted.
“This highlights the essential role that our country plays in the region as a pillar of security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as being a trusted partner of the international community in our region,” he said.
Greek National Intelligence Service Director attended the session.