World Bulletin/News Desk
Egyptian ambassador to Cyprus, Menha Mahrous Bakhoum, has appeared in a video swearing at and slapping a police officer at Larnaca airport, claiming she was subject to verbal and physical humiliation by airport security despite her diplomatic standing.
According to the Al Arabiya report, the incident reportedly took place on Saturday. A day later Cyprus Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis officially apologized to the Egyptian ambassador.
Ambassador Bakhoum was at the airport to see off her family and she wanted to escort them beyond the passport control. A female police officer then asked her to remove her boots, but the Egyptian diplomat refused, prompting a dispute.
Ambassador Bakhoum then acted by slapping the police officer, resulting in her being manhandled by a group of male officers. They dragged her to a separate room in a bid to calm tempers.
Efforts to contain the situation, however, failed when ambassador Bakhoum reportedly grabbed the wig of a senior officer in protest at her detention, according to Cyprus Mail.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses publicly and sincerely its regrets and apologies for the treatment of the ambassador, which was not in conformity with the principle of inviolability of the person and respect of diplomatic representatives,” Cyprus Foreign Minister Marcoullis said in a statement.
The EU's airport regulations allow only a few heads of states and governments to pass beyond security checks. Diplomats and evens Cabinet ministers have to go through regular security scrutinies.
In an effort to draw a line under the incident and avoid creating unnecessary friction with a powerful regional neighbour with which Cyprus shares a sea border and estimated underwater gas reserves, the government released an apology to the Egyptian ambassador on Tuesday, according to the Cyprus Mail.
On the instructions of the President, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis publicly expressed her “regrets and apologies for the treatment of the ambassador, which was not in conformity with the principle of inviolability of the person and respect of diplomatic representatives”.
Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, reportedly seen with Shia militia leaders near Iraq’s Fallujah
Following meeting with Saudi counterpart, German FM says next round of Syria talks should consider transition of power
Desperate people fleeing conflict to find new ways even if routes shut down: International Organization for Migration head
Sacrifices of political prisoners who rose up against Albania's communist regime on May 23, 1973, have been remembered
'Just as we brought back Nadiya, we will bring back Donbas and Crimea under Ukraine's control,' Petro Poroshenko says
Germany and France have apparently teamed up to hold back NATO and EU ambitions in Libya
Israel frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns targeting ‘wanted’ Palestinians in West Bank and East Jerusalem
'Long awaited good news, that the EU celebrates together with her country,' foreign policy chief Mogherini says
German chancellor says 'maybe some issues will require more time,' but the EU 'will stick to the agreement'
Ukraine swaps two captured Russian soldiers for the jailed pilot Nadiya Savchenko
'The existence of this government brings a real threat of instability and extremism in the region,' a senior Palestinian official says
Several civilian deaths and shortage of medical supplies reported as army continues push to retake ISIL-occupied city
'A teacher has the right to demand a handshake,' Basel-Country ducation authorities rule
Kenyan forces have been operating under African Union Mission in Somalia since February 2012
The veteran leader Rachid Al-Ghannouchi says that Ennahda Party is 'evolving with Tunisia'
The meeting will mainly focus on South China Sea disputes and fight against terrorism