Kasoulides is new Foreign Minister

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Ioannis Kasoulides will return to the post of Foreign Minister after the resignation on Sunday of Nikos Christodoulides, who stepped down to fight in the presidential campaign.

President Nicos Anastasiades announced the appointment on Monday after regretting how things have turned out and having to accept the resignation of Christodoulides.

In a written statement, President Anastasiades said he was “saddened by the resignation of Christodoulides since he was for many years one of my closest associates”.

“Unfortunately, the way things have developed, I am left with no choice but to accept his resignation.”

He “warmly” thanked Christodoulides for his contribution and announced that his predecessor Kasoulides would take the job from Tuesday.

Kasoulides, a former MEP, has a “successful and long service” at the Foreign Ministry.

He held the post from 1 March 2013 to March 2018, when he handed it over to Christodoulides.

Christodoulides said Sunday he had tendered his resignation in an internal power struggle within the ruling conservatives DISY on their candidate for presidential elections in 2023.

He has long been viewed as harbouring presidential ambitions, causing friction within his own Democratic Rally party.

DISY leader Averof Neohytou, who has entered the presidential race, had urged Christodoulides to clarify his intentions.

In a statement, Christodoulides said he would be ‘interested’ in the presidential election next year but was not yet ready to make a definitive decision.

“I will make an announcement when I make my final decisions,” Christodoulides said.

DISY started its nomination process for its candidate on Monday.

Christodoulides’ silence on persistent rumours he has been eyeing the presidency caused disquiet in the party ranks that his potentially independent bid could be divisive.