ATHENS – The US government has decided the full lifting of its arms embargo on Cyprus that was imposed in 1987, it was reported on Saturday.
This follows on from when former US State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo called former Cyprus Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides in September 2022 to inform him of a partial lift on the arms embargo.
The lifting of the embargo will be renewed on an annual basis, as the East Med Act of 2019 and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the year 2020 provide that the US president must certify to the relevant congressional committees that the Republic of Cyprus continues to cooperate with the US government in a number of critical areas. In particular, it is provided that the State Department must confirm annually that the Cypriot government:
– Collaborates on reforms against money laundering and for financial regulatory supervision.
– Continues to take the necessary measures to deny access to ports of Russian warships for supply and maintenance.
Greek Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias welcomed the decision in a series of tweets on Saturday.
Dendias wrote in English: “I welcome and express my deep satisfaction for the decision of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding the full lifting of the arms embargo by the US against Cyprus.”
“I believe that this decision constitutes a political landmark in relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States of America.”
“I also welcome the contribution of the US Congress and especially of the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez, architect of the 2019 East Med Act.
“Greece, along with Cyprus and the United State will continue its efforts in order to promote security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, always on the basis of respect to International Law and especially the International Law of the Sea.”