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Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades. (THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades. (THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)


President of Cyprus criticized for comment about women following plane hijacking

By WITW Staff on March 29, 2016

In a case of what appears to be some comic relief gone bad following a harrowing ordeal with a hijacked airliner on Tuesday, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades faced a backlash online over a remark he made about the hijacker’s apparent motive. The hijacker, an Egyptian man, had taken control of an EgyptAir flight and forced it to land in Cyprus, where a standoff on the runway ensued. According to reports, the man gave officials a letter written in Arabic that demanded the release of women prisoners being held in Egypt and a meeting with his ex-wife, who lives in Cyprus. The suspect’s former wife was summoned to the airport, and she helped convince him to surrender. Once the dust had settled, a reporter asked Anastasiades a question about romance being a motive in the hijacking and he responded, “Always there is a woman involved.” Not surprisingly, people on social media weren’t amused by the president’s attempt at humor. “That’s women, always inciting hostage situations,” one Irish journalist quipped in a post on Twitter. Another journalist called for a “slow clap for casual sexism,” in a Twitter post. When another reporter was asked whether the hijacker was a terrorist, a Cypriot official responded that the suspect was not, instead indicating that “He’s an idiot.” For a just a moment on Tuesday, so was the Cypriot president.

Read the full story at Metro UK.