Turkey has voiced discontent with the United States’ decision to provide International Military Education and Training (IMET) to Greek Cypriot soldiers in accordance with the 2020 fiscal year appropriations act.
“We support the position of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus authorities on this issue. We would like to remind our ally, the U.S., that equal treatment of both sides on the Island is a basic UN principle,” a statement released from the Turkish Foreign Ministry read on July 8.
“As we have repeatedly emphasized before, this and similar steps do not contribute to the efforts towards the settlement of the Cyprus issue, but on the contrary, lead to strengthening the intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriot side,” it added.
The United States said July 8 it plans to conduct military training with Cyprus for the first time, defying NATO ally Turkey.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the State Department for the first time will fund military training for the Republic of Cyprus as part of “our expanding security relationship.”
“This is part of our efforts to enhance relationships with key regional partners to promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Pompeo told reporters.
“It is obvious that steps disregarding the balance between the two sides will not help create an atmosphere of trust on the Island, and ensure peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.