Cypriot minister resigns

Cyprus Defense Minister Fivos Klokkaris yesterday announced his resignation for health reasons only three months after his appointment in a major reshuffle. Government spokesman Christodoulos Pasiardis said the minister submitted his resignation in writing to President Tassos Papadopoulos on September 5. The spokesman denied press reports that Klokkaris was stepping down over allegations that cliques of senior-ranking officers were running the Greek Cypriot National Guard and of political party meddling in military matters. The attorney general is probing the allegations. «I would like to confirm that I submitted my resignation for personal reasons linked to health matters, which occurred after I was appointed,» Klokkaris, 60, told a press conference. The reports in the media were unfounded, he insisted. The minister, a retired general and former National Guard deputy chief, was regarded as a non-partisan appointee when he took up the high-profile post on June 8. (AFP)