There will be no issue as regards the Republic of Cyprus’ membership of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the event that Turkey is elected as its Secretary-General, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Monday.

Moreover, he noted that the Republic of Cyprus cannot support the Turkish membership for the position of the IMO Secretary-General as Turkey does not allow ships under the Cyprus flag to dock in Turkish ports.

President Christodoulides was replying to a question on the sidelines of an event in Nicosia, about reactions regarding the support of Greece to the Turkish membership, if he was aware of this support and if there is any danger for Cyprus to face problems with its membership to the Organization in case Turkey assumes the post of the Secretary-General, as Ankara does not recognize Cyprus.

The IMO Secretary-General exercises his or her duties based on the Organization’s Convention, he said.

He added that the Republic of Cyprus is an IMO member and is elected at a high ranking post by the Organisation’s plenary and there will be no issue if Turkey is elected in the post of Secretary – General.

The President noted that elections will take place in June and candidacies can be submitted until Friday. He added that Greece and Turkey have supported each other, as the former supports the latter’s membership for the IMO, while Turkey supports Greece’s candidacy for a seat at the United Nations Security Council as an elected member for the 2025-2026 term.

“I understand that this was agreed when the Greek Foreign Minister Dendias travelled to Turkey after the earthquakes,” President Christodoulides added and underlined that “we will make the most” of a possible strengthening of the two countries’ relations.

He further pointed out that anyone can see that the Republic of Cyprus cannot support Turkey’s candidacy, simply because Turkey does not allow ships under the Cyprus flag to dock in Turkish ports.

“You realize that it will not be possible for our side to support such a candidacy,” he concluded.

Turkey occupies 37% of Cyprus’ territory since 1974 and does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004.

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