US to Lift Cyprus Arms Embargo, Foreign Minister Christodoulides Says



The Cypriot Foreign Minister, Nicos Christodoulides. File photo

The Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicos Christodoulides referred to the prospect of the  Republic of Cyprus buying arms from the United States in the near future.

Speaking with the Associated Press on Friday, he said that ”the U.S. will soon start lifting a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus because the American administration acknowledges the Mediterranean island nation’s contribution to bolstering regional stability and security”.

The American arms embargo was imposed in 1987 to prevent an ”arms race” that would hamper the efforts to reunify the divided island that was split between the Republic of Cyprus and the so-called ”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.

The latter is only recognized as a sovereign state by Turkey and it includes the occupied land that the Turkish armed forces seized in 1974.

The Cypriot Foreign Minister said that the U.S. Congress has already started the procedures to lift the restrictions posed by the embargo, recognizing the island’s important role in the stability of the wider region of Eastern Mediterranean.

Regarding Russian concerns about the strengthening of the U.S.-Cypriot relations, Christodoulides noted that Cyprus’ relations with the U.S. should not be considered as ”prejudicial to the island’s relations with any other country”.