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22 June, 2024
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Ex minister worries Nicosia dropped IMO ball out of spite

Cypriot former minister seeks answers after EU-favorite to lead UN shipping agency got no local support


A Cypriot former minister is calling on the new government to offer an explanation as to why the Republic of Cyprus failed to seek a nomination currently being sought by foe Turkey at a UN agency responsible for regulating shipping, hinting at revenge politics and calling on his party to seek answers.

Former transport minister Yiannis Karousos took to social media over the weekend to seek answers as to why Nicosia failed to seek nomination for Secretary-General at the In International Maritime Organization.

Karousos, the rock guitarist-politician who also served as mayor of resort town Ayia Napa, made the comments after former colleague and current President Nicos Christodoulides said Nicosia would seek nomination for an IMO position but not the presidency of the UN shipping agency.

“Why did we not file for candidacy when everything was ready with EU support and all the groundwork had been laid?” asked Karousos.

'Lost chance due to inaction and incompetence or because our candidate was burned by his own country because of his choices during the Presidential elections?'

The issue made headlines after Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu made headlines over reciprocal nominations, when they agreed to support Athens’ candidacy for the position of non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2025-26 and Ankara’s bid for secretary general of the IMO.

The move did not land smoothly on the divided island, with the government rushing to clarify that Nicosia would not back Turkey’s bid because Ankara does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus.

But Karousos took things further, suggesting that Nicosia dropped the ball either because of incompetence or politics after media reports said EU officials had favored the candidacy of Cyprus’ former deputy shipping minister Vassilios Demetriades.

According to Karousos, Demetriades “would have been an excellent secretary general for the IMO but the opportunity was lost as it was left to burn out domestically and possibly for revenge.”

“Lost chance due to inaction and incompetence or because our candidate was burned by his own country because of his choices during the Presidential elections?” Karousos asked.

The former minister asked a series of questions and called on his DYSI party’s president Annia Demetriou, who also serves as House Speaker, to register the issue in parliament for debate.

Following Karousos’ comments, state-funded Cyprus News Agency reported that Greek diplomatic sources said “the candidacies of Cyprus and Turkey for IMO, which Greece will support, concern different bodies of the Organization.”

"Greece will support the candidacy of the Republic of Cyprus for re-election to Category C of the IMO Council for the period 2024-25,” the source said according to CNA, adding that “the Turkish candidacy that Greece will support is for the position of IMO Secretary General.”

The deadline for submission of candidacy for secretary general had ended when Karousos posted his comments on Facebook, saying “the European Union and many others wanted [a Cyprus bid] and all the groundwork had been laid.”


Cyprus  |  UN  |  EU  |  IMO  |  international shipping  |  Turkey  |  Karousos  |  politics  |  Greece  |  energy

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