The US senator that introduced a bill in the Senate that covers concerns of Cyprus has said “We made it clear that we will no longer accept Turkey’s aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean region”.
Speaking to Phileleftheros on Sunday, Democratic senator Robert Menendez, of New Jersey, who heads the Democratic Group in the powerful International Relations Committee, underlined his interest and support for Cyprus.
He also stressed that the Americans “have to do more – we need to increase the support that will allow Greece to fulfill its commitments under NATO” and to lift the arms embargo against the Republic of Cyprus.
In 1987 the US placed restrictions on the transfer of arms and defensive material to Cyprus in an attempt to encourage reunification efforts and to avoid an arms race on the island.
Menendez and Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio submitted the bill aimed at lifting the embargo on the sale of arms to Cyprus, US security relations with Cyprus and Greece, and enhancing energy security in the region this week.
Menendez is expected to arrive on the island on Monday and although his visit is private, he is expected to meet President Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides on Tuesday.
A diplomatic source told the Cyprus News Agency that Menendez’s meeting with the President will discuss the issue of the lifting of the arms embargo, the Cyprus issue and Cyprus-US relations. “Menendez is definitely very important for Cyprus,” the source said.