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Interview: FM spokesman Delavekouras on “Radio Nine”
Journalist: Good morning to Mr. Gregory Delavekouras, the Foreign Ministry spokesman with whom we’ve worked journalistically many times in such situations. Good morning, Mr. Delavekouras.
Mr. Delavekouras: Good morning.
Journalist: Let’s look a little a the situation right now based on the information you have at the Foreign Ministry, and whether there is the possibility of transporting Greek citizens in any way – even on military aircraft.
Mr. Delavekouras: I’ll tell you. I spoke a short while ago with our Embassy in Cairo. It seems it was a calmer night than the previous ones. There are groups of citizens patrolling the streets. We will see how today goes, as well. Yesterday morning, Mr. Dollis headed a meeting at which it was decided to activate the plan for repatriating any Greeks who want to come home.
Mr. Dollis himself will be with the planes. The precondition for the operation is, of course, our having ensured that there will be secure conditions for the Greeks who want to return, and this means their safe transport to the airport from wherever they may be.
The requests we have received are from Alexandria. The Cairo Community announced that at this stage there are no Greeks who want to return from Cairo, so we will see how the situation develops today so that we can bring back everyone who wants to come back.
Journalist: A little while ago, we talked to a Greek who is at the Cairo airport – a group of about 20 people who, due either to transit flights or other reasons, are trapped at the Cairo airport. Is anything being done for those people? Is there any way they can get out of there?
Mr. Delavekouras: Look, we were informed that this group of people is at the airport – we were informed yesterday by a television station. They hadn’t communicated with the Embassy, but we found their numbers and contacted them. People will be going from the Consulate today to find them, give them some supplies and see exactly what their situation is – what the problem is – so that we can help them get back, too.
Journalist: There’s no way they can get on a civilian flight? They said there were cases where Turkish airlines put in flights and picked up all of their citizens trapped at Cairo airport. Can’t we do something like that?
Mr. Delavekouras: So far, no country has carried out an evacuation operation. We hope that today, provided the conditions are right, we will be able to use the aircraft we have on standby. But I say again: the basic priority and prerequisite is to have secure conditions. You can’t put people out on the street in these conditions if you don’t know they are going to be safe.
Journalist: Thank you very much, Mr. Delavekouras.
Mr. Delavekouras: Take care. Thank you.