President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday denounced the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and said Cypriot authorities were on alert and ready to avert any potential similar act on the island.
He was speaking to reporters after signing a book of condolences in memory of the victims of the murderous attack at the headquarters of the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ satirical magazine.
Asked to comment on media reports that intelligence agencies in certain European countries expect more terror attacks, Anastasiades said he has been briefed by authorities here that they are taking all steps to avert such an event.
The President declined to comment on remarks by the commander of the Cyprus Intelligence Service, who described the north’s breakaway regime as a “gateway” for jihadists travelling to Europe or headed to Iraq and Syria.
Anastasiades said he hoped the global reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris would force extremists to think twice before engaging in any such further acts.
Signing the condolences book opened at the residence of the French Ambassador in Nicosia, Anastasiades wrote:
“The government of the Republic of Cyprus condemns in the strongest possible way the heinous and barbarous attacks in Paris which resulted in the death of 17 people.
“The global community, shocked by this atrocity, shall not allow the extremists to question our democratic values and curb free speech. On behalf of the people of Cyprus, I wish to express our sincere condolences, convey our support to the families of the victims, and to assure the French government and its people of our sincere solidarity.”