Cyprus releases Syria-bound weapons ship
Cypriot authorities release suspected air defense radars seized three weeks ago on a Syria-bound vessel; there is no arms embargo on Syria but Cyprus refused to release cargo after vessel's manifest said shipment consisted of irrigation pipes, meteorological equipment
Cypriot authorities have released suspected air defense radars seized three weeks ago on a Syria-bound vessel, officials said Wednesday.
The Panamanian-flagged Gregorio I was stopped on Sept. 5 at the port of Limassol, after authorities said the freighter was carrying 18 trucks fitted with radars that appeared to be air defense systems.
The Gregorio I at port (Photo: Reuters)
"The shipment is free to go," a Trade Ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "We have granted an export license for the trucks and related items."
Three other trucks on the freighter - which had sailed from North Korea - appeared to be command and control vehicles.
There is no arms embargo on Syria but Cyprus had refused to release the cargo after the vessel's manifest said the shipment consisted of irrigation pipes and meteorological equipment.
Syria requested the re-exportation of the shipment and presented an end user certificate, the official said.
The issue was discussed by an advisory committee, which included representatives from the island's attorney-general's office, the foreign and defense ministries and the police, and it was decided to release the equipment.