The United States has decided to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Turkey strongly criticized the decision of the United States.

Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based media outlet, reported that the lifting of the arms embargo on Cyprus will be effective from 2023.

Turkey has deployed troops in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since the 1974 military coup in Cyprus with the help of Greece. However, the international community has recognized the Republic of Cyprus. The United States imposed an arms embargo on Cyprus in an effort to defuse tensions and promote reconciliation between the disputed island.

Due to this embargo, it was not possible for Cyprus to purchase weapons. In 2015, Cyprus signed an agreement with Russia on the use of seaports. The US fears that maintaining an arms embargo on Cyprus will draw the country closer to Russia. That is why the US decided to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus.

Turkey responded by saying that the lifting of the US arms embargo would lead to competition between countries in the region for arms sales. The island therefore has the potential to create tension.

(September 17)