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13 July, 2024
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President says petty politics not behind IMO decision

Christodoulides says Nicosia sounded out other countries before bowing out, points to ‘no possibility’ for a win


Political criticism in Nicosia over not backing an ex-minister to lead a UN international shipping agency continues to dominate headlines this week, with President Nikos Christodoulides rejecting allegations that a lack of support was out of spite due to presidential election preferences.

President Nikos Christodoulides was asked by reporters earlier this week to comment on a developing story following allegations that former deputy shipping minister Vassilios Demetriades was kept away for political reasons from a nomination for Secretary-General at the International Maritime Organization.

Christodoulides said that a successful bid by Nicosia to lead IMO would have been good for the government but “there was no such possibility.”

'If there was such a possibility, we would have been the first to pursue it, there’s nothing else to it'

Last month Greece and Turkey 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 the IMO. Political debate and criticism then dominated the headlines over how Nicosia was handling the development.

The president suggested the main goal of a candidacy was to be elected, adding that the foreign ministry had sounded out other countries on the issue and there was no chance to win.

Critic says Nicosia ticket had EU support

But former transport minister Yiannis Karousos says otherwise and has suggested “everything was ready with EU support” for a Demetriades candidacy.

Karousos called on his conservative party DISY to register the issue in the House for debate, adding that Demetriades, who did not support Christodoulides in the presidential elections, “would have been an excellent secretary general for the IMO.”

The former Ayia Napa mayor also asked on Twitter whether a lost chance was “due to inaction and incompetence or because our candidate was burned by his own country because of his choices during the Presidential elections?”

Christodoulides said “we do not approach such matters with the [political] jabs insinuated by some,” adding “we are interested in the Republic of Cyprus achieving its goals.”

“If there was such a possibility, we would have been the first to pursue it,” the president said, concluding “there’s nothing else to it.”

Cyprus  |  shipping  |  IMO  |  Christodoulides  |  Karousos  |  Demetriades  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  UN  |  politics

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