Political friends of Cyprus and the Greek Diaspora applaud the partial lifting of the American embargo
Defence Redefined
Published on 02/09/2020 at 08:50

The decision of Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo to temporarily and partially lift the US arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus was applauded by friends of Cyprus in the US Congress along with Greek-American and American-Jewish organizations.

In a statement, US Senator Robert Menendez stated he was “delighted” to see recognition of the importance of the US relationship with Cyprus, a reliable strategic partner.

“It is in our national security interest to lift these outdated decades-long arms restrictions and deepen our security relationship with the Republic of Cyprus,” said the New Jersey Democratic senator, who notes that despite the long delay in allowing the sale of non-lethal security equipment, in conjunction with the previous US announcement of a military education and training program, reflects the crucial importance of the US-Cyprus bilateral relationship and the growing importance of the Eastern Mediterranean region to US national security interests.

“I welcome this signal of our commitment towards a mutually beneficial partnership with Cyprus, and look forward to the continued implementation of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, the foundation of a sustained and durable US policy to this important region of the world,” concludes the Democratic leader’s statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Also read: The US announced the partial lifting of the arms embargo on Cyprus

In a post on his Twitter account, Rhode Island Democrat David Sichiline recalled that four years ago he began efforts to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus because it was not in the US interest.

“Today, the State Department has finally lifted it, making America and the eastern Mediterranean safer.”

Florida Republican Costas Bilirakis posted on his Twitter account that American values and US national interests are being promoted through a stronger bilateral relationship with Cyprus.

“Today, I am thrilled that @SecPompeo exercised the provisions of the #EastMedAct – which I co-authored – to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus and allow non-lethal aid.”


AHEPA, with a statement of its supreme president, George Horiates, welcomed the decision of the Trump administration.

AHEPA applauds the Trump administration’s decision to waive the limitations placed on the transfer of non-lethal arms equipment to the Republic of Cyprus for one year, announced Supreme President George G. Horiates.

“The United States recognizes the Republic of Cyprus as a strategic partner, especially in combating terrorism and providing regional stability, and this partial lifting of the prohibition of arms is the next logical step in the relationship’s progression that began with 2018’s Statement of Intent agreement.”

Also read: AHEPA donates protective gear to the Greek Police

George Horiates added that the importance and essence of this decision by the United States, at a time when tensions in the Aegean are escalating, cannot be underestimated.

At the same time, he thanked the members of the Congress and especially Senator Menendez for supporting the lifting of the arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus on Capitol Hill and praised the Greek-American Community for its enlightening effort.

It should be noted that in April, the supreme president of AHEPA sent a letter to Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo asking him to exercise his power granted by presidential decree and to lift the restrictions that prevent the sale of defense systems to the Republic of Cyprus.

HALC – AJC The American-Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Hellenic-American Leadership Council (HALC), which saw the EastMed Act as a fundamental next step in creating an increasingly strong relations between the major democracies in the region and supported measures to make the Republic of Cyprus a full strategic partner of the United States, Greece and Israel.

The legislation has given priority to lifting the outdated arms embargo on Cyprus. “Secretary Pompeo’s action is a milestone in the U.S.-Cyprus bilateral relationship, one that will have a positive effect on the increasingly integrated Eastern Mediterranean,” said AJC CEO David Harris. 

“Given Cyprus’ strategic location and key diplomatic ties in the region, the U.S. needed to have a substantive security relationship with Nicosia. Today’s move, coupled with the inclusion of Cyprus in the International Military Education and Training Program, reinforces a critical relationship with a sister democracy in a strategically vital region,” added the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, a proponent of US support for the tripartite strategic relationship between Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

“Since 2014, when Vice President Biden declared that Cyprus is a ‘strategic partner’ of the United States, we have been looking forward to this development,” added HALC Executive Director Endy Zemenides. “Thanks to the EastMed Act, the State Department was given the impetus to take a significant leap forward in the U.S. relationship with Cyprus. It also signals that Ankara is no longer being given a veto over the bilateral relationship between Washington and Nicosia.”

Source: CNA 

Also read: The reactions of the Greek community to the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque






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