Israel offers Cyprus generators, medical aid after blast

Netanyahu speaks by phone with Dimitris Christofias, expresses sorrow for explosion killing 12 people on island, says Israel stands ready to help.

Cyprus blast 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Cyprus blast 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu directed all the relevant bodies Monday to give any aid to Cyprus that Nicosia might request, following the massive blast at a naval base there that killed 12 people, wounded 62, and knocked out the island’s main power station.
Netanyahu, who spoke by phone with Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, expressed his sorrow at the event and said Israel stood ready to help with whatever Cyprus might need. He said Israel remembered the aid Cyprus gave Israel in December, when that country sent a helicopter and a plane to help put out the Carmel forest fire.
Monday’s blast was caused when confiscated Iranian armaments exploded in a navy base on Cyprus’ southern coast, 65 kilometers northeast of Nicosia.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Christofias – who visited Israel in March – thanked Netanyahu for his offer, and said this was an expression of true friendship between the two countries. The relationship between Cyprus and Israel has improved greatly over the last year, following the deterioration of Turkish-Israeli ties.
Likewise, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke to his counterpart Markos Kyprianou on Monday, and instructed ministry officials to discuss with their Cypriot counterparts what the country needed, with the possibility that Israel would send generators, medical supplies and material to neutralize explosives.