NICOSIA - Nicosia believes the British bases will not play a major role in any strikes against Syria, as Britain's military denied reports of increased activity at RAF Akrotiri.
Western countries, including Britain, are weighing military action against the Syrian regime over alleged chemical weapons attacks near Damascus, in which hundreds of civilians are said to have died.
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides yesterday told state radio that he believed the British bases on Cyprus would not play a "substantial role" in any international action against Syria.
"I have the impression that the British bases won't play any primary role.... because they are not needed but we will have to see," said Kasoulides.
He added that the government has yet had "no official information whatsoever for any possible use of the military bases".
Britain has retained two sovereign military bases on Cyprus -- at Akrotiri the largest airbase outside the UK and Dhekelia -- since the island gained independence from British rule in 1960.
Cyprus lies less than 100 kilometres west of Syria at its closest point.
Kassoulides said yesterday that Cyprus was in contact with key countries, which he did not name, and had received "assurances that there would be no surprises for Cyprus" on this issue.
A spokesman for British Forces Cyprus also told The Cyprus Daily yesterday that "there is no increased activity at RAF Akrotiri at this present time".
But this may change in the coming days as the Syria crisis unfolds.
This came as British newspaper The Guardian reported that military aircraft had started to arrive at the Akrotiri air base.
The newspaper said that residents living near Akrotiri had noticed a surge in activity around the airfield during the past 48 hours.