The foreign ministry launched an investigation following allegations of sexist and homophobic behaviour from a member of staff of an embassy of Cyprus in a European country.

The issue came to light on Friday after the clerk at the embassy submitted her resignation, citing harassment and intolerable working conditions.

In her resignation letter addressed to the ambassador, the woman expressed her inability to continue working due to the “constant, repeated sexist, homophobic comments and characterisations of my colleagues”, as well as the daily atmosphere of shouting and tension within the embassy. The employee stressed she “can no longer tolerate” these conditions. Philenews, who published the letter, attributed this behaviour to the male ambassador of the specific European country.

She then wished “positive energy and mental strength” to her colleagues who will have to continue to endure the daily toxic climate in the embassy.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Theodoros Gotsis told Alpha News that the issue is being investigated by the General Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“It is now a matter of internal procedure. It has been under investigation from the very first moment, on a daily basis and based on what is provided for by administrative law.”

Gotsis said the appointment of an investigating officer for possible disciplinary or criminal offences was not ruled out.

“The staff in each country is subject to the domestic law of the state concerned. It is usually not a matter of a criminal record, because if it is then the proceedings continue in the state from which it originated.”

In Cyprus, all members of the government recently signed a policy declaration on on zero tolerance for sexist and harassing behaviour.