Greece sends condolences to Cyprus over naval base blast

President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, in a telephone conversation Monday with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, expressed his profound grief over the deadly explosion at the "Evangelos Florakis" naval base in Cyprus.
President Papoulias requested from President Christofias to convey to the families of the victims and of the injured sincere condolences and feelings of sympathy on behalf of the Greek people and himself personally.
Prime Minister George Papandreou has sent a letter of condolences to President Christofias. In his letter, Papandreou expresses his shock over the extent of the tragedy and notes that ''for the rescue of possible trapped persons and the medical care of the injured, and for any other issue concerning the incident, we are ready to assist, in any way deemed necessary, the services of Cyprus.''

He assures that Greece will support and help Cyprus to overcome the consequences and heal the wounds opened by the explosion.
"The island republic has the forces, the ability and the will to overcome the consequences of the disaster," the prime minister said, adding that "in this task you will find us undivided supporters, both to overcome the consequences and for the efforts to heal the wounds that opened so tragically and unexpectedly this morning."
Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos addressed a letter of condolences to the House of Representatives Speaker Yiannakis Omirou, expressing his profound grief over the unexpected loss of the lives of many of our fellow men.
"The tragedy, that additionally caused injuries and material damages, constitutes yet another grave blow in a series of the country's disasters," Petsalnikos said, adding that "the Parliament of the Greeks, participating wholeheartedly in the profound mourning of the Cypriot people, expresses the warm condolences of the Greek people to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery for the injured."
Defense and foreign ministers Panos Beglitis and Stavros Lambrinidis expressed grief over the tragedy and Greece's readiness to extend all help needed, in telephone contacts with their Cypriot counterparts later on Monday.
"On the part of the Greek government and Prime Minister, I wish first of all to express our deepest condolences, solidarity and support to the Cypriot Hellenism, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, the government and all the political forces over this tragic event that has shocked Cyprus and Greece and has resulted in the death of Cypriot citizens. To the families of the dead, I express our deep grief and most heartfelt condolences," Greek defence minister Panos Beglitis said.
Beglitis said he has already spoken with his Cypriot counterpart, defence minister Costas Papacostas, to whom he conveyed Greek prime minister George Papandreou's condolences and solidarity, as well as Greece's and the Greek defence ministry's "readiness to provide every assistance necessary".
The minister said he and the Greek National Defence General Staff (GEETHA) chief were in constant contact with Cyprus National Guard chief Lt.-Gen. Petros Tsalikides, who was keeping them abreast on the tragic event.
A foreign ministry statement issued in Athens said Lambrinidis expressed deep sorrow over the tragedy in a morning telephone conversation with Cyprus foreign minister Markos Kyprianou.
Lambrinidis expressed Greece's support for Cyprus and his condolences to the families of the victims, as well as wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured people.
The Greek embassy in Nicosia, meanwhile, informed the Cypriot government of Greece's readiness to provide any help needed.

Democratic Alliance leader expresses condolences for fatal Cyprus blast

Democratic Alliance leader Dora Bakoyannis on Monday expressed her condolences to the families of those killed during a fatal blast at a National Guard naval station on Cyprus, as well as to the Cypriot people and the country's political leadership.
After being briefed on the course of an investigation into the causes of the accident, Bakoyannis noted that "the Cypriot people know that the Greek people stand beside them in the good times but especially in the bad times".

C-27 plane to Cyprus' aid with specialist personnel

A C-27 military transport aircraft carrying specialised armed forces and security forces personnel departed from Elefsina airport in Attica for Cyprus on Monday. The personnel on board will assist Cypriot authorities in determining the causes of the accident at the Evangelos Florakis base on the island.
They were sent at the request of the Cyprus Republic's defence ministry.
In the meantime, Greek hospitals were on standby to assist with the treatment of those injured in the extremely powerful blast that rocked the island country with a force some compared with that of a severe earthquake.
"I have contacted Mr. Christos Patsalidis, the health minister of the Cyprus Republic, and told him that all hospital facilities in Greece are at his disposal," Greek Health Minister Andreas Loverdos told reporters.
According to Loverdos, Patsalidis replied that the force of the blast was so great that the dead outnumbered the injured.
Earlier, Loverdos had a meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou and informed him that the health ministry will soon announce the merger of hospital units, the new list of approved pharmaceuticals and the pricing of medical actions.

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