Turkey condemns US decision on Cyprus arms embargo

Turkey's foreign ministry has said it strongly condemned the decision taken by the United States to lift defence trade restrictions for Cyprus.


Turkey's foreign ministry said on Sept. 17 it strongly condemned the expansion of a decision taken by the United States in September 2020 to lift its arms embargo on Cyprus.

The US State Department said on Sept. 16 that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had lifted defence trade restrictions for Cyprus for the fiscal year 2023.

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, calling on the United States to reconsider its decision and to pursue a balanced policy towards the two sides on the island.

Cyprus was split in a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Since then, Cyprus has been run by a Greek Cypriot administration in the south that Ankara does not recognise.

Turkey recognises the breakaway Turkish state in the north of the divided island.