The US Embassy in Nicosia on Monday said it was cooperating with Cyprus for the safe passage of US citizens from Haifa, Israel to Limassol port. The vessel ‘Rhapsody of the Seas’ has already docked at the port of Haifa.
According to Cypriot foreign ministry spokesperson Theodoros Gotsis, it is expected to arrive in Limassol on Tuesday morning, depending on the boarding process. The journey takes 10-12 hours.
The evacuation option by sea was confirmed on Sunday on platform X by US officials.
The US embassy in Nicosia encouraged US citizens to make their own reservations for onward travel from Larnaca (LCA) or Paphos (PFO) airports in Cyprus.
It said buses would take people from Limassol port to both airports, but onward journeys were the responsibility of travelers.
Regarding the accommodation of approximately 2,500 people expected to arrive in Limassol on Tuesday until their return to their home countries, Gotsis stated that arrangements have been made for their stay in state facilities.
In the meantime, stringent security measures are being taken and expected to continue tomorrow at the port. The police are maintaining confidentiality regarding the operational plan to be followed.
Meanwhile, the embassy discouraged fleeing US citizens from making travel arrangements through the north. “The US embassy cannot support any access or movements in the area north of the buffer zone,” it added.
US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, in a post on platform X, thanked Cyprus for its support. “Grateful to Republic of Cyprus president for the support his government has shown to US citizens transiting Cyprus following the horrific Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel,” she wrote.
Gotsis told Cyprus public broadcast service CyBC on Monday morning that the government has been approached by other countries to evacuate their citizens.
The Cyprus government on Tuesday activated the national ‘Estia’ action plan for the reception of people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Israel since a number of planes and ships have arrived. In addition to the US, other countries that have applied to evacuate citizens from Israel through the Estia plan include Denmark, the UK, Portugal, Holland, Belgium and Germany. [Cyprus Mail]
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