Cyprus to provide facilities to U.S. to evacuate personnel

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NICOSIA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus has accepted a United States request to provide facilities for humanitarian purposes, but stressed that the eastern Mediterranean island will in no case be involved in any United Sates military operations, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Thursday.

Christodoulides said Cyprus will provide facilities to the United States of the same humanitarian nature as those in 2006. At the time, Cyprus allowed the use of its ports and airports for the evacuation of U.S. citizens from countries in the Middle East.

"Cyprus will not have any other involvement," Christodoulides told the state broadcaster, commenting on statements expressing concern at the possibility of Cyprus being involved in a military conflict.

The request was made following the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq and Iranian missile strikes against U.S. military targets in Baghdad.

Foreign ministry sources in Cyprus said that the United States requested the use of an air base near the western city of Paphos to be used by aircraft in case it was needed to evacuate American diplomatic personnel and citizens from neighboring countries. Enditem

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