It is with great satisfaction that I welcome the announcement by the U.S. @StateDept on the complete lifting of the U.S. arms embargo on Cyprus. This is a landmark decision, reflecting the burgeoning strategic relationship between the two countries, including in the area of security.
For its part, the government of Turkey has predictably condemned the move, with the Turkish Foreign Minister anticipating that the decision will strengthen the Greek Cypriots, provoke an arms race with Turkey and, ultimately, impede any final solution to disputes over the island’s status.
The embargo has been in place since 1987, thirteen years after the 1974 Turkish invasion which led to a split between the Turkish-occupied and Greek portions of the island.
The change in U.S. policy, which follows a partial easing of conditions on the Mediterranean island in 2020, may be a response to the fact that Cyprus has drawn close to Russia, buying from the Kremlin those arms which the U.S. and its allies have blocked it from obtaining.