Cyprus responds to Nasrallah: “We are not part of the problem – but part of the solution”

Photo: President of Cypress, Wikipedia
Strong reactions in the neighboring island nation after Nasrallah's speech in which he threatened to attack the local airports on the grounds that they are being used by Israel for attacks in Lebanon. Meanwhile in Israel they explain: "Nasrallah is under pressure from the firm messages that were conveyed to him."

Cyprus’ disclaimer: “We are not in a conflict, we are acting through the accepted diplomatic channels.”

In the morning after the defiant speech given yesterday (Wednesday) by Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, in which he threatened that the air force bases in Cyprus would become targets if they supported possible attacks by Israel, Nicos Christodoulidis, the President of Cyprus clarified: “I repeat, Cyprus, Our country is not involved in any way and is not part of the problem. On the contrary, we prove in various ways that we are part of the solution.” After being asked by reporters if Cyprus deals directly with Hezbollah or the Lebanese government, he explained: “Of course, there is a communication channel with both the Lebanese government and the Iranian government. We operate through the usual diplomatic channels.”

He was also asked if he was afraid of Nasrallah’s threats and replied: “They are certainly not pleasant, but they do not reflect the picture according to which Cyprus is not involved in any military activity, under any circumstances.” He also clarified that Cyprus will work in cooperation with other countries and leaders in the region, and emphasized that Cyprus does not work with them secretly in any way.
The Cypriot president may be referring to his country’s attempts to take part in humanitarian aid to Gaza, such as, for example, his initiative to build a floating dock that was adopted by the Americans, and is now being built for the second time after a first and failed attempt.

At the same time, it was reported in the Lebanese “Al-Akhbar” newspaper that senior Cypriot officials have been holding talks since yesterday evening with their Lebanese counterparts. Furthermore, the Lebanese channel “Al-Jadid” reported that Cyprus has frozen the granting of visas to Lebanese in its embassy in Lebanon. On the other hand, the Deputy Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament claimed that the report is not true, and the delay is only one day for administrative reasons.

The Israeli reaction to Nasrallah’s speech: “He is under pressure, if Hezbollah continues to attack Israel, the whole of southern Lebanon will look like Gaza. We have an obligation to return the Israeli citizens safely to their homes.”

In Israel, meanwhile, Nasrallah’s aggression is attributed to the pressure he is under. Senior officials in Israel said following the speech: “Nasrallah is under pressure from the firm messages conveyed to him by Amos Hochstein and Israeli statements that indicate a change of direction.”

Earlier to Nasrallah’s speech, a senior political official in Israel said yesterday that “If Hezbollah continues to attack Israel, the whole of southern Lebanon will look like Gaza. Beirut will not be immune. Hezbollah must stop attacking Israel, no country will accept the current situation.” According to the source, “the countdown to a powerful Israeli response has begun, and only Hezbollah’s agreement to Hochstein’s plan and stopping his attacks will stop the clock.”

Gallant said in assessing the situation yesterday at the headquarters of the Northern Command alone with Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Major General Uri Gordin, Air Force Commander Tomer Bar, and other senior commanders: “We are completing the land and air readiness, strengthening the intelligence systems and preparing for any eventuality. We have to remember the basic situation – that Hezbollah started a war against us, on October 8, a day after Hamas, and since then it has not stopped it. We have an obligation to change the situation in the north and return the citizens safely to their homes and we will find the way to do this action, because when I look at the citizens and I meet them, both their representatives and the people, they have an expectation and I think it is justified and we will have to implement her”.

Chief of Staff Halevi said: “We remember all the time – the task is to return the residents to the settlements, to their homes, both safely and stably for a long time. The Northern Command for all the forces works day and night to meet this task, to meet it well. We know that in the end – a strong defense, a very high-quality attack, the return of the residents, and the IDF, together with the residents, will continue to build here in a way that will be better than it was before.”

The Israeli sources’ assessment that Nasrallah is under pressure from the developments joins the report published this week in the Saudi newspaper “A-Sharq al-Awast”, which is published in London in the Arabic language. The report claims that according to knowledgeable sources, Hezbollah prevents its operatives from using mobile phones inside Syrian territory, takes extreme caution with regard to the movement of its elements between the terrorist organization’s headquarters on the Syria-Lebanon border after Israel’s recent attacks on Syrian lands, and even instructed not to sleep in the terrorist organization’s headquarters in Syria and exchange Frequently temporary residences and vehicles. The reason, it can be assumed, is the fear of close surveillance by Israel of Hezbollah operatives. A large part of the recent Israeli attacks were aimed at the vehicles and motorcycles of the organization’s terrorists, and local sources in the Homs region told the newspaper that the residents of the areas where Hezbollah elements are located fear their presence and the possibility of an air strike at any given moment.

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