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US lifts arms embargo for Cyprus for 2023, Turkey condemns move

US lifts arms embargo for Cyprus for 2023, Turkey condemns move

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has lifted defense trade restrictions for Cyprus for fiscal year 2023.

Turkey’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the move on Saturday, saying it 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.