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Lebanese authorities work to preserve friendly relations with Cyprus following Hezbollah hazards

Lebanese officials work to maintain friendly relations with Cyprus following Hezbollah threats

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese federal government authorities worked Thursday to preserve friendly relations with Cyprus a day after the militant Hezbollah group threatened to assault the Mediterranean island if it enables Israel to utilize its areas to assault Lebanon.

Lebanon’s state news firm stated Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib informed his Cypriot equivalent that Beirut depends on the favorable function that Cyprus plays in assistance of stability in the Middle East.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah cautioned Cyprus in an uncommon danger not to permit Israel’s military to utilize its airports on the island to bomb Lebanon ought to a full-blown war break out in between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Some Lebanese media outlets reported previously Thursday that the Cypriot embassy was closed however the objective later on clarified that they were declining visa applications for administrative updates and the embassy will be presenting an appointments-based system since Monday for visa applications.

The Lebanon-Israel border has actually experienced practically everyday exchanges of fire in between Hezbollah and Israel’s military that have actually left more than 400 individuals dead in Lebanon because Oct. 8. The majority of the casualties have actually been fighters however they likewise consist of more than 80 civilians and non-combatants. On the Israeli side, 16 soldiers and 11 civilians have actually been eliminated over the previous 8 months.

The level of hazards in between Israel and Hezbollah heightened following recently’s killing by Israel of Hezbollah’s the majority of senior leader because the battling started. Hezbollah struck back by shooting numerous rockets into northern Israel in retaliation.

Cyprus and Lebanon have actually had close and historical relations for years and the island ended up being a sanctuary for countless Lebanese who lived on the island throughout Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. Numerous Lebanese people moved once again to Cyprus following the historical financial disaster in Lebanon that began in late 2019.

Recently, Cyprus has actually taken pleasure in progressively tight relations with Israel and the island has actually hosted joint Israeli-Cypriot military workouts, however has actually not been associated with any military operations.

Nasrallah stated his group knows that the Israel’s armed force is performing maneuvers in Cyprus in mountainous locations comparable to those of Lebanon including that they likewise utilize Cypriot airports.

He included that Hezbollah knows that Israel thinks that in case a full-scale war breaks out, Hezbollah will target its airports and because of that Israel may utilize “in its war versus Lebanon Cypriot airports and bases.”

Nasrallah included that when Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides went to Lebanon just recently, Lebanese authorities talked with him about the matter and he rejected there were such strategies.

“The Cypriot federal government ought to take care that opening the airports and bases in Cyprus for the Israeli opponent to target Lebanon, suggests that the Cypriot federal government has actually entered into the war,” Nasrallah stated. “The resistance (Hezbollah) will handle it (Cyprus) as part of the war.”

Cyprus federal government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis duplicated that any idea that Cyprus, either through its facilities or area, would be associated with any military operation in Lebanon is “completely groundless.”

Nasrallah was slammed by some Lebanese political leaders who cautioned that his remarks might hurt relations with Cyprus and the European Union.

“Cyprus was a sanctuary and invited all Lebanese however Nasrallah is firmly insisting that we have no good friend left,” lawmaker Elias Hankash of the Christian Kataeb Celebration informed Al-Arabiya television. “The danger to Europe leaves Lebanon in total seclusion.”

Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the European Union’s executive arm, stated Thursday that any danger versus Cyprus is a risk versus the bloc’s 26 other member countries.

In 2015, Cyprus stated it had actually interrupted a supposed Iranian plot to target Israeli entrepreneurs with the arrest of 2 Iranian asylum-seekers who touched with another Iranian connected with the Revolutionary Guard.

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Hadjicostis reported from Nicosia, Cyprus.

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