Cyprus to submit IMO council candidacy

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President Nikos Christodoulides said Cyprus would submit its candidacy to the Council of the International Maritime Organization, denying it backed down after Greece endorsed Turkey to lead the IMO.

Nicosia seeks to continue playing a lead role in the IMO with Europe’s third-largest shipping fleet.

He rejected reports that because there was no Cypriot candidacy, Greece was forced to support Turkey for the General Secretariat of the IMO.

He said the agreement between Greece and Turkey for mutual support in the UN Security Council, and  IMO was done long before any thought about a possible candidacy of Cyprus.

“The Republic of Cyprus will submit its candidacy for the IMO Council as we have been doing for the last few years, and in fact, we have enough support to have a leading role in this Organisation.”

President Christodoulides said, “through our substantive intervention in the IMO, we support the rights of the Republic of Cyprus because we are a country which, since 1987, due to Turkey’s attitude, has very serious problems in shipping.”

He said that even now, Turkey is taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine “to make it difficult for ships flying the Cypriot flag.”

The President  said the IMO Secretary-General, whether he comes from Turkey or any other country, can in no way cause  problems for an internationally recognised state, “a state which, especially in the shipping sector, has an important role to play.”