Cyprus drills hone skills on evacuations from conflict zones

May 19, 2022, 5:57 PM | Updated: May 20, 2022, 5:59 am

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Seven countries including the U.S., France, Italy, Israel and Greece have taken part in an series of drills in and around Cyprus designed to ease civilian evacuations from conflict zones and to conduct offshore rescue operations, amid a renewed sense of urgency due to the war in Ukraine.

For the first time, Egypt took part in the Friday leg of the annual drill with its own military forces, while Saudi Arabia sent a delegation of observers to “Argonaut 2022,” which Cyprus has billed as as one of the most important civilian evacuation drills in the world.

Cypriot Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides told foreign officials that participating nations took part in the planning of the mass evacuation of civilians fleeing a crisis in a neighboring country.

“Cyprus is located in an area of perpetual turmoil and instability and there is always the possibility of a conflict or a crisis,” Petrides said.

“Hence we have to remain vigilant, able and ready to facilitate our friends and allies for dealing with crisis situations and provide safe haven for those affected.”

An additional 15 countries sent delegations to observe coordination efforts by Cypriot authorities and foreign embassies to facilitate the potential arrival of foreign nationals at Cyprus’ main port of Limassol..

The exercise culminated in a search and rescue operation with vessels and aircraft simulating what Cypriot officials described as a “serious maritime accident” off the East Mediterranean island nation’s southern coast.

First held 15 years ago, the exercise took place this year after a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Cyprus briefly hosted over 35,000 foreign nationals fleeing Lebanon in 2006 when Israel launched a ground invasion of its neighbor’s southern territory in pursuit of Hezbollah forces.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak...
Associated Press

UK’s Johnson vows to stay in office after top ministers quit

LONDON (AP) — A defiant British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was battling to stay in power on Wednesday after his government was rocked by the resignation of two top ministers, who said they could no longer serve under his scandal-tarred leadership. His first challenge is getting through Wednesday, where he faces tough questions at the […]
1 day ago
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers her speech at the European Parliament d...
Associated Press

EU chief warns of danger of complete cut-off of Russian gas

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that the 27-nation Europe Union needs to make emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off of Russian gas in the wake of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. The EU has already imposed sanctions on Russia, including on some energy supplies, and is […]
1 day ago
FILE - Mohammad Barkindo, Secretary-General of OPEC, is shown during a panel discussion at CERAWeek...
Associated Press

OPEC secretary-general is dead, Nigerian officials announce

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has died, Nigerian authorities announced Wednesday. Mohammad Barkindo, 63, died late Tuesday, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s petroleum ministry told The Associated Press. The reason for his death was not immediately known. Mele Kyari, Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

The next frontier for drones: letting them fly out of sight

REMINGTON, Va. (AP) — For years, there’s been a cardinal rule for flying civilian drones: Keep them within your line of sight. Not just because it’s a good idea — it’s also the law. But some drones have recently gotten permission to soar out of their pilots’ sight. They can now inspect high-voltage power lines […]
1 day ago
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pos...
Associated Press

Marcos plays balancing act in meeting with China’s FM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — New Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will meet China’s top diplomat Wednesday to discuss long-simmering disputes in the South China Sea, as he wades into foreign policy dilemmas that include the U.S.-China rivalry in the region. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, wearing a native Filipino formal shirt, met his counterpart for […]
1 day ago
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stands in front of Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam o...
Associated Press

Russian foreign minister stops in Vietnam ahead of G-20

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Vietnam on Wednesday as part of an effort to bolster ties with a country that has not openly condemned its invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov, on his way to the Indonesian island of Bali for a G-20 meeting, sought to strengthen ties with Vietnam, which also […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Cyprus drills hone skills on evacuations from conflict zones