Diaspora Leaders Want US to End Cyprus Arms Embargo

Mike Manatos and Andy Manatos in Washington, DC. (Photo courtesy of Mike Manatos)

More leaders of Greek-American groups are joining the call for the United States to end an arms embargo for Cyprus, where the legitimate government side is outgunned by a Turkish army on the occupied northern third held since an unlawful 1974 invasion implicitly backed by the US.

In a column for the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Andy Manatos, President of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, Philip Christopher, President of the International Coordinating Committee of Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the Pancyprian Association of America, and Mike Manatos, President of Manatos & Manatos said the embargo should cease.

That comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier sent warships into Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in a bid to keep foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas where they are licensed.

Unity talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said they would never remove their army and wanted the right to militarily intervene.

With Turkey buying F-35 fighter jets from the US, there’s also fears they could be used in any conflict with Greece or with Cyprus, which is unable to purchase arms from America, which is arming Turkey with more weapons.

“The very existence of an arms embargo on Cyprus is an example of our government ignoring the law of our land and punishing our relationship with a country that conducts itself as a most dependable ally, Cyprus,” the Diaspora leaders wrote.

While the embargo was aimed at Turkey, they said, it’s hurt Cyprus more and that the idea was to end Turkey’s occupation on Cyprus but failed because it meant that “Turkey could continue to carry American arms onto Cyprus, but all other US arms to that country were embargoed.”

The noted that the Cairman of the House Foreign Affairs Human Rights Subcommittee said, “The United States should lift its outdated arms embargo on Cyprus. There’s no good reason for the United States to deny a tried and true ally like Cyprus essential weaponry for its defense.”

The embargo, they said, was put in place because 44 years ago Turkey used American arms unlawfully against Cyprus in the invasion.

They said Erdogan has an agenda for a “final push for Islamist fundamentalism’s first modern conquest of Western world territory and resources – the northern third of Cyprus. These are hydrocarbons that the Eastern Mediterranean Alliance – Cyprus, Greece and Israel – are working on together to provide safe delivery to Western Europe.”

LITTLE IMPACT

In June, the American Hellenic Council of California (AHC) asked Congress to lift the embargo in place since 1987, supporting a measure filed by US Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) who has had long and close ties with the Greek and Cypriot-American communities.

He said lifting the ban would show the US supports Cyprus as a democracy and EU member and would serve US security interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

A joint report of the Department of Defence and the State Department in June 2016 said the arms embargo in Cyprus had “little impact” in the US national security goals and could drive Cyprus toward Russia, a worrying factor, he said.

“As someone who has always cooperated with the Greek and the Greek Cypriot community, I continue to be optimistic that a lasting solution will be reached one day which will bring true and lasting peace,” he said.

“This restriction on the sale of military equipment to Cyprus severely undermines regional peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean by constraining Cyprus from protecting its territorial integrity and exclusive economic zone from an expansionist Turkey,” AHC said in a statement.

It urged the Greek-American community and other citizens to lobby lawmakers in Congress to end the embargo.

In April this year, Cyprus’ Defence Minister Savvas Angelides met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO policy, Thomas Goffus and asked for the ban on the sale of US military material to Cyprus to be lifted.

Despite the ban, the bulk of heavy weapons maintained by the Turkish occupying forces in the north are American-made, the Cyprus Mail said, allowing Turkey to skirt the embargo and have heavy weapons at hand.

The embargo was begun to encourage reunification efforts and avoid an arms race on the island but has utterly failed, critics said, as Turkey has gotten around and put an army on the island, largely equipped with arms barred to the Cypriots on the other side.

2 Comments

  1. Kypros should just buy weapons from Israel..Case closed….hmm 31 years of great American Greek Organizations Working To Lift The Ban…Bravo, maybe another 31 years and the politicians just might let you in their offices to chat, never know.
    Keep up the great work, and amazing rewards.

  2. Well Pavlo, they certainly continue to do what they do best….photo ops with the white house behind them, as the un-elected but self appointed… representatives of the elitist of the Greek community! The bad news for the corrupt politicians of Washington, D.C………is that they represent no help ….in getting you votes from the Greek community, since, in the end….Cyprus is still occupied by former Nato Colonialist Turkey, and Britain, and the United States and Nato countries ….still have not removed their member ally from Cyprus and bring to justice, the leaders of Turkey for the ethnic and religious cleansing of Greeks from Northern Cyprus…..and war crimes against civilians of a foreign country…you know ….the Nuremburg articles…relating to foreign countries crossing the borders of another sovereign nation ….and killing innocent civilians of that country!

    However, thanks to HALC we would not have known….that the puppet government of Cyprus…has been an undeclared member of Nato….and more important ly …..a “Dependable Ally” of the United States! Additionally, it would appear …..that this alliance … restricts Cyprus from purchasing weapon from this so called ally, and possibly, anybody else…..needed to protect its sovereignty and do what it is supposed to do….. to secure safety and peace of the Greek Cypriot citizens!
    Importantly, it indicts the government of Cyprus for surrendering , as an independent sovereign nation , their right to purchase needed arms , to prevent, the reocurence of the slaughter of Greeks in Cyprus, by Turkey, from Russia, Israel, or any other country!

    However, it is now clear….while not being a member of Nato , but the EU…. they consider the enemies of the United States ….their enemies …and conduct themselves accordingly! This act of treason…is further enhanced by allowing British Based in Cyprus to conduct war crimes bombings from the territories of Cyprus….against Iraq, Syria, Yemen, etc etc, and threaten the security and peace of the citizens of Cyprus…with possible retaliation!
    Palvo…now you know…why Cyprus is not only still divided among Nato countries, but why HALC and the other Taco secret Greek Societies of Greek Masons of the Ahepa…. are more interested in protecting for the Glory of America…their interests….and not those of Greek Cypriot for over 31 years!

    They are fraudulent societies promoted by their elitist TNH fellow brothers…who suppress the truth…that it is the United States and Nato…who are responsible for the debacle in 1974…. in order to prevent any influence in Cyprus by Russia….just like they do now! It is the United States and Nato ….who are responsible to remove another Nato member Turkey….from Northern Cyprus in compliance of three UN resolutions to remove al foreignl military forces from the entire country of Cyprus! Why has Halc and Ahepa…obstructed numerous petitions by Greek Cypriots and their supporters…. holding the U.S. responsible for the removal of Turkey by imposing economic sanctions and banning the sale of U.S weapons from Turkey….something they only do to “Their Enemies” like Russia …for claiming Crimea! This hypocracy…exposes the fraud Nato is perpetuating on the people of Europe and the Middle East …just to add another base like Cyprus …to their friendly occupations. NO….THEY AND THE BOYS imposed a ban against non- nato Cyprus to purchase the same weapons ….that Turkey was rewarded with for their Nato operation in Cyprus!

    But why now…does HALC ..demand they end the ban on selling weapons to Cyprus…. it just doesn’t get better than this …..because Cyprus may buy the weapons …from it mortal enemy…Russia! Oh! excuse me… I mean the mortal enemy… of the United states…but not the rest of the world, except for Cyprus!

    To top it off…HALC….enlists the services of Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey… a member of the Ahepa…and just about every other ethnic organization in New Jersey…. to champion the removal of this ban!
    The champion of Ahepa….and allegedly the Greek community……. has been indicted on 14 counts of Bribery, fraud, and laundering of money to pay for flights, gifts and I beleive call girls from the Ukraine! This guy …. get indicted by his own democratic President and party…which is an accomplishment that only occurs one time in a generation! Additionally, he receives annually about $600,000 for his campaign expenses from these Jewish supporters of Israel!
    So while HALC and Ahepa…. send this model of statesmanship and fellow brother, The to simply allow our government to sell arms to Cyprus…just like they sell arms to Saudi Arabia, UAE…which are immediately provided to their Sunni Muslim brigades of religous fanatics called ISIS and Al Queda …you know the proxy army of the United States who is responsible to overthrow the country of Syria…and murder thousand of Orthodox Christians, he is getting the jewish lobby about 5 billion dollars of free money to distribute to the boys in Israel to pay for all those fancy warhead, tanks , missiles and even Nuclear Weapons!

    Pavlo, it isn’t the fact that they are liars and frauds…to the Greek community….but that they despicably fool and give the families of Northern Cyprus …who were the victims of the Treason of the Cypriot Government to fail to come to their aid …when their families were being murdered…and to this day…I watch grown and older men cry about the …destruction of their families in Norhtern Cyprus….it is that give a false sense of security to the people of Cyprus ….that their is someone who really cares, and is representing thier interests!

    Shame on the Greek government,Cypriot government, and their aristocratic Greek elitist…..who fit right into the profile of Robert Menendez. Like my Grandmother used to tell me…..who you hang out with…is who you are!

    That goes for TNH too!

Comments are closed.