Cyprus is not involved in the military operations by western countries against Houthi rebels in Yemen, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Theodoros Gotsis said on Friday.
British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps announced that four Royal Airforce Typhoon aircraft had taken off from Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus on Thursday night, and had “conducted precision strikes on two Houthi military targets alongside United States forces.”
Akrotiri air base is one of two which Britain retained as “British sovereign areas” when it granted independence to Cyprus in 1960, after 100 years of colonial rule over the eastern Mediterranean island.
British and American officials said the operations against the Houthi militia were carried out jointly by the United States and the United Kingdom (UK), with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands.
The Cypriot Foreign Ministry spokesman told Cyprus News Agency that “regarding the use of UK bases in Cyprus, the government is in constant communication with the United Kingdom, always within the framework defined from the Treaty of Establishment and its accompanying documents.”
“The security of Cyprus, as well as our relations with states in the region, constitutes the highest priority of the government,” he added.
Gotsis said Cyprus was systematically monitoring the “alarming” developments in the Red Sea, in close coordination with the European Union, and in constant contact with other regional and international partners.
“We observe that the security situation in our region has deteriorated, which is of great concern to us. As a state in the region with a significant maritime footprint, we clearly emphasize the need for an immediate end to all actions that threaten free and safe navigation and endanger the wider security of the region,” he said. ■