The government spokesman on Monday denied there being a rift between Nicosia and Athens over the latter supporting Ankara’s bid for a senior role at a UN agency.

Doubts were raised after Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Sunday that while Cyprus welcomes a thawing in relations between Athens and Ankara, it will not join Greece in supporting Turkey’s candidacy for the general secretariat of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

But Letymbiotis sought to emphasise on Monday that this difference of opinion between Nicosia and Athens does not mark a rift in relations.

“Relations were and remain to be excellent,” he told CyBC radio, adding that Nicosia views the improvement of Ankara-Athens relations as a positive development.

Letymbiotis reiterated that while President Nikos Christodoulides was in Brussels it was made clear that Nicosia backs a policy of incentives instead of threats, a policy which can yield positive results.