US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unexpected stop in Cyprus during his urgent diplomatic mission to the Middle East.
During the visit, Blinken met with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides and Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos to express gratitude for Cyprus’ role in hosting American citizens who had fled from Israel during the early days of the Hamas-Israel conflict.
Cyprus played a significant role in temporarily hosting American citizens who sought refuge as Israel’s military operations against Hamas escalated. At least one cruise liner, chartered by the United States, transported Americans from the port of Haifa to the safety of Larnaca, Cyprus, as rocket attacks intensified on Israeli cities and towns following the October 7 incidents.
The visit, which was not publicly disclosed in advance due to security concerns, also allowed Blinken to discuss the situation in Gaza and Cyprus’ proposal to establish a dedicated maritime corridor for the humanitarian aid flow to Gaza.
Cyprus Government Spokesman Letymbiotis tweeted about the meeting and said: “Meeting was held between @PresidentCYP and US Secretary of State @SecBlinken on unfolding developments in the Middle East, incl. on a dedicated, one-way maritime corridor of sustained flow of humanitarian aid from #Cyprus to civilians in Gaza.”
The United States has been actively engaged in diplomatic efforts to address the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and Blinken is now headed to Turkey for meetings with senior officials scheduled for tomorrow.