Maritime corridor to Gaza from Cyprus could start this weekend, says EU president

Credit: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

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LARNACA, Cyprus, March 8 (Reuters) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she expected a maritime aid corridor to start operating between Cyprus and Gaza this weekend, taking desperately-needed aid to besieged Palestinians.

Von der Leyen said a pilot test run of food aid collected by a charity group and supported by the United Arab Emirates could be leaving Cyprus as early as Friday from the port of Larnaca in Cyprus.

"We are launching this Cyprus maritime corridor together, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States," Von der Leyen said after a visit to facilities in Cyprus.

"We are now very close to opening this corridor, hopefully this Saturday-Sunday and I'm very glad to see an initial pilot will be launched today," she said alongside Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.

One aid group, World Central Kitchen (WCK), is currently gathering food supplies in Larnaca for the people of Gaza, with support from the UAE.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Alex Richardson)


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