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Home News US ambassador tweet riles Cyprus

US ambassador tweet riles Cyprus

Published on 02/03/2015

Cyprus on Monday blasted the tweet of the US ambassador to the island over the killing of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov while President Nicos Anastasiades was visiting Moscow.

The ambassador, John Koenig, wrote Sunday on Twitter: “What do people in #Cyprus think about the week in Russia as seen from here? Anastasiades visit and statements, #Nemtsov assassination?”

Anastasiades told state TV that the comments were “very undiplomatic” and only served to make Cyprus-US relations “colder”.

The tweet was “unhelpful at the very least”, said government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides.

Koenig later released a statement to say his tweet had been “misunderstood”.

“It is unfortunate that some suggested that I linked the two issues. That was not my intention,” the ambassador said.

“I would like to clarify that my intention was neither to provoke nor to imply anything. I simply wanted to get the reaction of the Cypriot people on two different issues,” he added.

The tweet formed part of a larger discussion on Monday.

Washington is said to have raised concerns over the Anastasiades visit to Moscow last week where a deal was signed to allow Russian naval access to Cyprus ports.

Anastasiades, Greek Cypriot leader of the heavily-indebted EU member state which has close ties with Russia, concluded his four-day visit soon after Nemtsov was shot near the Kremlin on Friday night.

Nicosia has denied it had offered Moscow a base on the eastern Mediterranean island but said it had only upgraded a previous agreement for Russian naval ships.