We will consider ways of deepening Cyprus-US cooperation following decision to lift arms embargo, Defence Minister says

Minister of Defence Charalambos Petrides described the US decision to lift the arms embargo against Cyprus as an “historic decision” for the Republic of Cyprus, adding that they will consider all possibilities for further deepening the cooperation between Cyprus and the USA.

 

Invited to comment on the US decision, the Minister of Defence said that it is a “very significant decision, which proves the excellent relations between Cyprus and the USA” and added that the Ministry has worked towards this goal during the recent years and the “injustice has now been lifted.”

 

“We will consider all possibilities to see how and in what way we will further deepen this cooperation, which is already at a very good level,” he underlined.

 

Meanwhile, during his speech in Nicosia, at a memorial service for the heroes of the EOKA anticolonial struggle of 1955-59, Stelios Mavrommatis, Andreas Panayides and Michael Koutsoftas and others, the Minister stressed that today, more than ever, we must struggle for a just solution of the Cyprus issue, which will lead to the reunification of our homeland and create the conditions for a peaceful coexistence under conditions of safety.

 

He called for determination in order to overcome the difficulties saying that the ultimate goal is to reach a solution and liberate the country from occupying troops.

 

Petrides said that Turkey does not show any willingness to abide by what has been agreed and to proceed to a sincere dialogue that will lead to a just solution to the Cyprus problem.

 

He added that while the tragic consequences of the Turkish invasion are still evident, Turkey is ignoring the international law and every rule of good neighborhood and escalates the tension against Greece and Cyprus.

 

Ankara, the Minister said, makes daily direct threats in an attempt to create new faits accomplis in the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus, and added that history is being falsified in a systematic and methodical way, with the aim of strengthening a revisionist policy to promote expansionist aspirations.

 

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

 

On Friday, the United States announced that it completely lifts an arms embargo on Cyprus. The State Department’s spokesperson, Ned Price, said that Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, determined and certified to Congress that 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 Republic of Cyprus for fiscal year 2023. Compliance with the conditions is assessed on an annual basis, the statement noted.

 

Source: Cyprus News Agency

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