Turkey condemns US decision to lift arms embargo on Cyprus
Turkey on Saturday "strongly" condemned the US decision to lift the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration, state news agency Anadolu reported.
"We strongly condemn the expansion of the scope of the decision taken by the U.S. in September 2020 to lift the arms embargo towards the Greek Cypriot Administration," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The U.S. State Department said on Friday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had lifted defense trade restrictions for Cyprus for the fiscal year 2023 because “the Republic of Cyprus has met the necessary conditions under relevant legislation to allow the approval of exports, re-exports, and transfers of defense articles” to the country. .
The Turkish foreign ministry said this 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," the statement said and asked the US to pursue a balanced policy towards the two sides on the island.
The east Mediterranean island was split between Greek and Turkish population after a Turkish invasion in 1974, which Turkey claims was a legitimate response to a coup by Greece on the east Mediterranean island. Turks in the North established a state that is only recognised by Turkey, while the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus has become a member of the European Union in 2004.