Cyprus insists proximity to Syria will not affect tourists

Cyprus insists proximity to Syria will not affect tourists

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The foreign minister for Cyprus has sought to reassure tourists about the island's safety as international intervention in neighbouring Syria looks increasingly likely.

Ioannis Kasoulides said that the island's military bases would not play a significant role in any action against Syria, which lies just 98km away, although they were prepared for every 'eventuality'.

He told the Daily Mail: "We take precautionary measures but that does not mean that there is any foreseeable threat to the safety of Cyprus, its population and its tourism."

The minister was responding to reports that the island's military bases would be used to launch attacks on President Assad's regime.

"Cyprus as a country of stability, peace and security is ready to undertake the responsibility of acting as a shelter in the evacuation of foreign nationals of friendly countries from the Middle East region if needed.

“This is the capacity that we want to safeguard and we have received assurances that (Cyprus’) territory will not be used as a launching pad. We cannot be a safe haven of peace and security on the one hand and a launching pad on the other.”

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office amended its advice for travellers to Cyprus on Saturday, warning of an “increased risk of demonstrations, linked to the possibility of military action in Syria” and asking tourists to be “vigilant” and avoid any protests or demonstrations.

Abta said: “Cyprus is a popular winter sun destination, offering guaranteed sunshine and golden beaches. It’s business as usual in all the Cypriot resorts and there are no travel restrictions in place.

"As with any destination, should the Foreign Office change its travel advice holidaymakers who have booked a package will be entitled to reschedule or their money back.”

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