Cyprus FM wants to quit in blast crisis


Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said he would quit the government on Monday as political fallout mounted after a confiscated cargo of Iranian munitions exploded in the country’s worst peacetime disaster. Kyprianou, an influential member of the junior party in Cyprus’s left-wing coalition, said he had tendered his resignation to President Demetris Christofias. It was unclear whether it would be accepted. The government is looking increasingly vulnerable in the wake of the blast that killed 13. “I hear the public, and I want to contribute to the restoration of trust in the political system at such a crucial time for Cyprus,” Kyprianou, a former European commissioner, told reporters. He would be the second minister to quit after a massive blast in a confiscated cargo of Iranian munitions last week, destroying Cyprus’s largest power station. The defence minister and the army chief resigned on July 11. Normally placid Cypriots have taken to the streets in their thousands in a show of anger over an incident widely perceived to be the result of incompetence and negligence. Kyprianou’s ministry was involved in confiscating and handling the cargo, which blew up after more than two years stored in scorching temperatures in a military base.