President Christodoulides denied reports saying that the British Bases in Cyprus are being used by the United States as a transit stop to transport military equipment to Israel.
The President was asked to comment on reports by Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the British media outlet Declassified UK which wrote that the U.S. is using the UK’s bases in Cyprus to send arms to Israel.
“There is no such information; our country cannot be used as a launching pad for military operations. Through our actions, we demonstrate the humanitarian nature of our approach,” the President said.
“The efforts we are making for the humanitarian corridor, the substantial endeavour for the evacuation of the population from the region—our country has been used by both the British and the Americans, and we have a very good collaboration,” he added.
Haaretz has reported that over 40 US transport aircraft, 20 British transport aircraft and seven heavy transport helicopters have flown to RAF Akrotiri, Britain’s vast base on Cyprus, carrying equipment, arms and forces.
The planes have been loaded with cargo from strategic depots belonging to the US and NATO in Europe, Haaretz reported. Around half the US flights are said to be “delivering military aid”.
Declassified said it found these US weapons and equipment are likely being delivered to RAF Akrotiri from US bases in Turkey, Spain and Germany.
Haaretz also wrote that Cyprus provides “the most significant international deployment of forces and equipment” for military operations related to Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza.
Declassified asked the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) what US aircraft were flying to Israel from its base in Cyprus—and what they were carrying.
An MoD spokesperson refused to share information, telling Declassified: “In response to the situation in Israel and Gaza, we are working with international partners to de-escalate the conflict, reinforce stability and support humanitarian efforts in the region. Any use of UK bases will be in line with these objectives.”
However, it is believed the British government knows what is on the US planes, Declassified writes. The MoD recently told parliament: “UK authorisation would be required for any [US] operations involving the use of the Sovereign Base Areas” on Cyprus.
Sitting 180 miles from Tel Aviv, RAF Akrotiri has, in the past, acted as a staging post for British military operations and bombing campaigns in the Middle East.