Turkey condemns US decision to lift Cyprus arms embargo

by | Sep 17, 2022 | World

Ankara says Washington’s decision will ‘negatively affect efforts to resettle the Cyprus issue’.Turkey condemned a move by the United States to fully lift its weapons embargo on the divided island of Cyprus starting in 2023, warning it could start an arms race.
The foreign ministry said on Saturday the decision would “further strengthen the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigence and negatively affect efforts to resettle the Cyprus issue”.
“It will lead to an arms race on the island, harming peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean,” a ministry statement said, calling on the US to reconsider and pursue a balanced policy towards the two sides.
The Mediterranean island has been divided between the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and a breakaway state in the north set up after a Turkish invasion launched in 1974 in response to a coup sponsored by the military government then ruling Greece.
The US imposed the arms embargo on the whole of Cyprus in 1987 in the hope it could encourage its reunification.
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‘Complete lifting’
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades welcomed on Saturday the “landmark” decision by Washington to fully lift a decades-old embargo, conditional on Nicosia continuing to block Russian warships from its ports.
Anastasiades expressed “great satisfaction” over the announcement “on the complete lifting of the US arms embargo” on his country, the most easterly member of the European Union.
“This is a landmark decision reflecting the burgeoning strategic relationship between the two countries, including in the area of security,” he said.
Critics said the embargo was counterproductive by forcing the Republic of Cyprus to seek other partners while Turkey …

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