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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 19 January, 2018
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Cypriot president criticised for 'there's always a woman' remark after plane hijack

President Nicos Anastasiades made the comments in response to reports that the hijacker had acted to try and communicate with his ex-wife.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

THE PRESIDENT OF Cyprus is in hot water after an off the cuff remark about today’s plane hijacking.

There was panic around the world this morning when it emerged that a man allegedly wearing an explosives vest had taken control of an EgyptAir plane and diverted it to land in Cyprus.

As the day wore on it became apparent that the person behind the attack was not a terrorist or a criminal mastermind, but rather – as the Egyptian foreign ministry put it – more likely “an idiot”.

At a press conference this afternoon President Nicos Anastasiades described the circumstances of what had happened.

He said that the events had been “unprecedented” but that “in any case it’s not something that has to do with terrorism”.

Earlier reports had suggested that the hijacker, Seif Eldin Mustafa, had taken control of the plane to gain access to his ex-wife .

After Anastasiades spoke, there was a pause and one of the journalists asked if he could confirm these reports.

“Always there is a woman involved,” the Cypriot President responded, getting a laugh from the journalists in the room.

However, not everyone has seen the funny side, and the head of state is facing the ire of social media users who feel that the comment was inappropriate and sexist.

Read: ‘Downton Abbey and tea cups’: We’ve a fairly dreadful record of sexism in Irish politics

Also: ‘We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees’: Serena slams tennis boss in sexism row

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