The US state department aims to consolidate its relationship with Cyprus with the goal of creating stability in the region.
“We look forward to continuing to deepen our bilateral relations (with the Republic of Cyprus) as we promote regional stability,” it said on the prospect of lifting the decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus.
Responding to a question from ANA-MPA on whether Washington intended to take the next step to help Cyprus enhance its defence interoperability with the US and the EU, the state department spokesman acknowledged the significant progress that has been made in bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.
“The Republic of Cyprus is an important partner and our security relationship has deepened since the signing of the Declaration of Intent on Bilateral Security Cooperation in 2018,” the spokesperson said.
In 2020, the US decided to proceed with the temporary and partial lifting of the arms embargo (ITAR), which would be in force for one year – with the possibility of renewal – and related to “non-lethal” systems.
State department officials had noted at the time that the US would approach this issue step by step, stressing that this decision was not linked to developments in the eastern Mediterranean nor did it signal a change of stance on the Cyprus issue.