Turkey condemns further US easing of arms embargo on Cyprus

Turkey condemns further US easing of arms embargo on Cyprus

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday “strongly” condemned the United States’ announcement to expand the scope of its 2020 decision to lift its arms embargo on Cyprus.

This decision is “in contradiction with the principle of equality of both parties on the island”, the ministry said in a statement. The development “will further strengthen the intransigence of the Greek Cypriot side, negatively affect efforts to settle the Cyprus issue; and this will lead to an arms race on the island, harming peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean” , the ministry added.

He called on the United States to reconsider the decision and “pursue a balanced policy toward both sides of the island.”

The northern third of the island has been occupied by Turkey since 1974. The United States imposed the arms embargo in 1987 to encourage reunification of the island, and partially lifted it in September 2020.

The U.S. State Department said on Friday that Cyprus had “met the conditions necessary under relevant legislation to permit the approval of exports, re-exports and transfers of defense articles to the Republic of Cyprus for the fiscal year 2023”.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Twitter welcomed the American announcement as a “historic decision, reflecting the emerging strategic relationship between the two countries, including in the field of security”.

The Turkish ministry said it “will continue to take the necessary measures for the existence, security and serenity of Turkish Cypriots, by all means”.

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