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Hezbollah Terror leader threatens Cyprus

Richard Krauss

21. Juni 2024

Clear international reactions

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah, recently named Cyprus as a potential target for attacks. In his statements, Nasrallah accuses Cyprus of serving as a base for Israeli military operations directed against Hezbollah.

These threats come in the context of the increased defense cooperation between Cyprus and Israel, which has increased in recent months.

The government of Cyprus has clearly denied these threats and stressed that the country seeks a peaceful role in the region. In response to the threats, Cyprus has significantly tightened its security measures and asked for support from its international partners, particularly the EU and the US.

Cyprus is in a difficult position, as it has close relations with Israel and Greece while being at the center of geopolitical tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. These tensions result from territorial disputes and the discoveries of large gas deposits in the region.

Strategic assessment of Nasrallah's threats against Cyprus

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah, recently named Cyprus as a possible target. These threats are not only a reaction to the close defense cooperation between Cyprus and Israel, but also reflect the growing geopolitical tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean​ .

Nasrallah accuses Cyprus of being a base for Israeli military actions against Hezbollah. These allegations are particularly explosive as Cyprus and Israel have increased their defense cooperation, including joint military exercises and the use of Cypriot infrastructure by the Israeli military​.

For Cyprus, these threats pose an increased security risk. The geographical proximity to conflict zones and Israel's military presence on the island could make Cyprus a target for Hezbollah attacks. As a result, Cyprus has tightened its security measures and stresses the need for international support to counter these threats.​

Nasrallah's statements reflect the broader regional tensions. Hezbollah, which has close ties to Iran, is in constant conflict with Israel. Any strengthening of Israeli relations with its neighbors, including Cyprus, is perceived by Hezbollah as a threat. These tensions could drag Cyprus into the region's larger conflicts.​

Politically, these threats pose a challenge for Cyprus. The country must perform a balancing act: on the one hand, it wants to deepen its security cooperation with Israel, and on the other hand, it must minimize the risks of escalation with Hezbollah. This requires increased diplomatic efforts and seeking international support to defuse tensions.​

Strategically, Cyprus is of great importance due to its location in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is a major player in the region, not only because of its proximity to conflict zones, but also because of its role in energy policy and its military importance to NATO and the EU. Nasrallah's threats demonstrate the need for Cyprus to continue to receive international support to consolidate its role as a stabilizing force in the region.

International reactions to Nasrallah's threats against Cyprus

The recent threats made by Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah, against Cyprus have raised international concern. These statements have been commented on by several countries and international organizations, which expressed their support for Cyprus while stressing the potential risks to regional stability.

US and EU

US: The United States has strongly condemned Nasrallah's threats. The US State Department stressed that Cyprus is an important partner in the region and that the US stands firmly by Cyprus to protect its security and sovereignty. The US underlined the importance of defense cooperation between Cyprus and Israel and reiterated that such threats undermine regional stability.

​EU: The European Union also reacted with concern. An EU spokesperson said that the threats against a member state were unacceptable and that the EU fully supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus. The EU stressed that it would take all necessary measures to protect Cyprus from any threats and to ensure security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Israel and Middle East partners

Israel: Israel reacted sharply to Nasrallah's threats and made it clear that it would continue its defense cooperation with Cyprus. An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman stressed that military cooperation between the two countries was crucial for regional security and that Israel was ready to support Cyprus against any form of aggression.

Greece: As a close ally of Cyprus, Greece has also reiterated its support. The Greek Prime Minister stated that Greece stands firmly by Cyprus' side and is ready to take all necessary steps to maintain security and stability in the region. Greece stressed the need for close cooperation between EU states to respond to such threats.

International organizations

United Nations (UN): The UN expressed concern about the escalating rhetoric and called for restraint. A UN spokesman stressed that all parties should seek dialogue and refrain from provocations in order not to further endanger stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. The UN underlined the importance of supporting peace efforts and diplomatic solutions in the region.

NATO: As a member of NATO, Cyprus benefited from the Alliance's support. The NATO Secretary General stressed that the security of member states is a top priority and that the Alliance is ready to take measures to protect its members. NATO called for a peaceful resolution of tensions and stressed the importance of cooperation among Allies at this critical time.

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