Cyprus gets "clear" UN guidance on detained cargo ship: president
Cyprus has received "clear and final" guidance from the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on a Cypriot-flagged cargo ship suspected of carrying arms from Iran, said President Demetris Christofias on Saturday.
The Russia-owned vessel Monchegorsk has been docked off the southern Cypriot port of Limassol since Jan. 29 after it was intercepted by the U.S. Navy in the Red Sea for allegedly carrying weapons from Iran.
Israeli authorities suspected the arms were destined either for Lebanon or the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
A team of Cypriot experts then inspected parts of its cargo on Jan. 29 and Sunday and submitted a report on the findings to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee, which handed over its guidance on Friday to Cyprus' UN representative.
"The committee is clear," said Christofias, adding that Cyprus will keep the ship in Limassol and continue to search the whole shipment before taking further actions.
The president declined to reveal what the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee ruled on the sensitive case, but local media quoted anonymous officials as saying that its cargo has been found in breach of UN resolution on Iran.
Christofias told reporters that the Cypriot government would decide what to do with the cargo after a thorough search, with no need to refer to the committee again, Xinhua reported.