NICOSIA, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus apologized to the Egyptian ambassador on Wednesday after an incident involving policemen in charge of security at the island's Larnaca International Airport on Dec. 29.
Ambassador Menha Mahrous Bakhoum had complained in a letter to the Foreign Ministry that she had been manhandled and restrained in a police office, after she was asked to undergo security checks involving removing her boots, before being allowed into a departure terminal to see off members of her family.
Policemen in charge of security had alleged that she refused to undergo checks demanded by the European Union and then hurled abuse at them and pulled and slapped some of them.
An urgent investigation had been ordered and Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoulli released a public apology on Wednesday, lauding traditionally brotherly relations between Cyprus and Egypt.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly and sincerely expresses its regret and apologizes over the treatment of the Ambassador," the Foreign Minister said in her statement.
She said the Ambassador had not been treated in accordance with her individual rights or her diplomatic status as laid down in diplomatic norms.
Egypt had been a close ally and supporter of Cyprus since its independence.
The two countries also share a common sea border in the Levantine, the most eastern area of the Mediterranean, in which rich oil and gas deposits have been discovered.