Ioannis "Yiannakis" Kasoulidis (born August 10 1948 in Nicosia) is a Cypriot politician. He is one of the leading officials of the conservative Democratic Rally Party and served as Foreign minister in the Glafcos Clerides government from 1997 until 2003.
In June 2004, he has been elected Member of the European Parliament. He is now a Member of the Bureau of the European People's Party and sits on the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Human Rights in Western Sahara.
Kasoulidis studied medicine at the University of Lyon in France and specialised in geriatrics in London. He worked in the private sector after returning to Cyprus.
He is also founder and first chairman of the Federation of Cypriot Students Union in France, served at various party posts and was elected deputy in 1991.
In March 1993 he undertook the post of Government Spokesman and resigned from Parliament and retained his position until April 1997 when he was appointed Foreign Minister, a position he held until 28 February 2003.
As Minister, Kasoulidis led the diplomatic service during efforts for Cyprus' Accession to the European Union and was mainly responsible for the political part of the negotiations.
Kasoulidis is known as a moderate and progressive politician with fresh ideas and an open mind. He has made a name for himself as a devoted patriot but a staunch opponent of populist and nationalist attitudes. Kasoulidis has a wide and deep international reach. He is much respected in the EU.
Kasoulidis was a candidate for President of Cyprus. In the first round of the 2008 Presidential elections, on February 17, he placed first with 33.51% of the vote, however, he lost the runoff on February 24 to Demetris Christofias.
Education and work experience
- 1974: Graduate in medicine (M.D.) in Lyon
- 1981: specialised in geriatrics at London Hospital
- 1975-1981: Hospital doctor and lecturer in London
- 1981-1993: Practised medicine in Nicosia
- 1985-1989: Various posts in the Democratic Rally (DISY)
- 1990-1993: Chairman of Democratic Rally Youth Movement
- from 1993: Member of the Democratic Rally Political Bureau
- 1991-1993: Deputy for Nicosia
- 1993-1997: Government spokesman
- 1997-2003: Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Founder of D.D.K
- July 2003: Strategy and Public Affairs Limited (communications and crisis management consultants)
- Commander of the Order of the Phoenix Hellenic Republic
- Commander of the Order of Merit Hellenic Republic
- Commander of the Order of Xirka (Malta)
- Commander of the Order of the Cedar (Lebanon)
- Commander of the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre
- Palestinian Bethlehem 2000 Award
- Athens Municipality Highest Distinction Award