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Cyprus

Nicosia keen on Nato membership but Turkey remains an obstacle

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides

Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides on Sunday suggested that Nicosia was keen on joining Nato in light of the current status quo on the island, if it wasn’t for Turkey.

Speaking to Greek-language daily ‘To Vima’, Kasoulides said that in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Cyprus problem “cannot remain open” and added that the international community should push Turkey to resume talks.

He emphasised that the confidence building measures proposed by Nicosia “offer to create the climate to restart negotiations”.

Asked if Cyprus was interested in joining Nato in the light of the current geopolitical situation, Kasoulides said: “We would be very interested. Especially after the events in Ukraine and all these developments, this is an additional reason for why we would be interested in participating in such a defence organisation for the security of its members, if the obstacles with Turkey did not exist.”

Cyprus has toyed with the idea of Nato membership in the past by first possibly joining the Nato ante-room Partnership for Peace (PFP). However the discussion dissipated due to renewed talks on the island possibly joining the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco), a voluntary pact in the area of security and defence.

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