The embargo which applies to “non-lethal systems“, will be lifted for a period of one year. President Nicos Anastasiades has welcomed the decision. Meanwhile there have been negative reactions from North Cyprus and Turkey.
Response from Akıncı
President Mustafa Akıncı stated that the US decision to lift the restriction on selling arms to the south of Cyprus was not a step in the right direction.
President Mustafa Akıncı made a phone call last night to the United States’ (USA) Ambassador to south Cyprus, Judith Gail Garber.
During the telephone conversation, Garber conveyed to President Mustafa Akıncı that the USA was lifting the restriction on the sale of defence weapons in this case to the Greek Cypriot side from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021.
Garber stated in the telephone conversation that the United States had already communicated this decision to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and that she wanted to inform the Turkish Cypriot side.
Emphasising the error of this decision taken by the US, President Akıncı told Garber that this decision would not encourage the Greek Cypriot side to reach a comprehensive solution in Cyprus and would not serve peace, but on the contrary, would help the Greek Cypriots to shun the negotiation table.
Akıncı said that there was no need to add to escalate the current tensions in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, what was needed was dialogue and reconciliation.
Anastasiades Accuses Turkey of Aggression
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades thanked the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his post on his Twitter account and evaluated the decision as “a positive development that further strengthens the bilateral security relationship between [south] Cyprus and the USA“.
Anastasiades, said that they discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean during a telephone conversation with Pompeo noting that Turkey was the key to reducing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
PM Tatar Says it Will Benefit US Finances
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar emphasised that “lifting the arms embargo on Southern Cyprus by the United States for a year will not work but increase Greek intransigence and make money for America“.
Prime Minister Tatar stated the following in his statement:
“It is a wrong decision for the USA to lift the restriction on the sale of arms to the Greek Cyriot side from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021. Taking such a decision at a time when the Greek Cypriot-Greek provocations in the region were on the rise did not suit a permanent member of the UN Security Council such as the USA. It is clear that this decision will not contribute to peace, but to the conflict of the Greek Cypriot side. I condemn the USA and invite you to reverse this mistake immediately. But everyone should know that Turkey and the TRNC will never give up the rights that it supports. What needs to be done is not to increase the tension, but to come to peace by seeing the facts.”
US Move Poisons The Atmosphere
A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, said that “The US (lifting the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriots) signing a decision that has poisoned the spirit of peace is incompatible with the alliance.”
“The US decision to lift the arms embargo against the Greek Cypriot Administration today (September 1) ignores the equality and balance between the two peoples on the island.
“It is certain that this decision will adversely affect efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue.
“In a period in which efforts are being made to reduce tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, the USA’s signing of such a decision that poisons the peace and stability environment in the region is incompatible with the spirit of alliance.
“We expect the United States to reconsider this decision and support existing efforts to establish peace and stability in the region.
“Otherwise, Turkey, as a guarantor country, so as to comply with the legal and historical responsibility for the Turkish Cypriot people needed to be able to guarantee the security of Kabul will take decisive steps.“