• Saturday, 20 July 2024

MFA sets up crisis HQ for extraction of Macedonian nationals after Iran's attack on Israel

MFA sets up crisis HQ for extraction of Macedonian nationals after Iran's attack on Israel

Skopje, 14 April 2024 (MIA) - After Iran's attack on Israel last night, Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani has decided to set up a crisis HQ at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) with the primary task of extracting Macedonian nationals from Israel and the broader Middle East region if necessary. Besides the Tel Aviv-based embassy, Macedonian nationals can also turn to the embassies in Cairo, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

"I urge all nationals to stay in contact with our Embassy in Tel Aviv (+972 549 267 378) and the MFA SOS lines (075 273 732 and 075 268 376) for the purpose of making preparations for a possible evacuation. The extraction will depend on developments in the coming hours and days, as well as the Tel Aviv airport, which has reopened this morning, albeit with a reduced capacity. A land journey through Jordan is an alternative route," FM Osmani told a press conference on Sunday.

According to MFA data, there are 40-50 Macedonian nationals in Israel, including the families of the diplomatic staff in Tel Aviv. Osmani recalled that most of the Macedonian nationals were extracted last October, while some decided to stay, primarily people who had families there. The MFA does not have an exact number of Macedonian nationals in the broader region.

The FM called on the President to summon the Security Council because "an escalation in the Middle East could lead to security repercussions but also a wave of refugees".

"Of course, they will use the Balkan route, meaning North Macedonia. Therefore, we must increase the country's resilience in such an event," added Osmani.

The MFA condemns the attack as all other before, as will the possible retaliatory attacks.

"Violence breeds violence, and this reoccurring circle of revenge is escalating the situation in the region, which can easily expand. We call for urgent cessation of violence because we might reach a point of no return. The Russian aggression in Ukraine and a serious conflict in the Middle East could have dramatic implications on international peace and stability," said Osmani.

He said the MFA warned on such developments a couple of days ago, but certain political structures attempted to underestimate these announcements, thus directly impacting the decision of Macedonian nationals to return from the Middle East earlier.

"Let me send another appeal that fake news and hybrid threats undermine trust in institutions, leading to risks for human lives. Therefore, I call on all political parties taking part in the election campaign to stop discrediting institutions and office holders because in this way they serve the interests of those using the hybrid threats," said Osmani.

Photo: MFA and MIA