Cyprus denies arrest of Iranian Foreign Minister

Nicosia: The Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday has dismissed media reports stating that the Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi was detained in Cyprus during a recent visit.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that “any problem was created either on his (Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi’s) arrival or departure.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects claims that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran is included on the list of persons banned of entering or exiting Cyprus (Stop List),” the statement added.

Earlier the news reports said that Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was briefly arrested by the Cypriot anti-terrorism forces after he arrived at Nicosia International Airport, media reported on Tuesday.

The arrest was made for Salehi’s violation of a European Union ban on travels by Iranian officials involved in the country’s nuclear program, several Turkish and Cypriot media reported on Thursday.