NICOSIA – Including Cyprus in a military cooperation deal through the Pentagon, linking National Guard units with the United States, has drawn the ire of Turkish-Cypriots, occupying the northern third of the island, protected by 40,000 soldiers.
The self-declared republic that’s unrecognized in the world is upset with the decision that came just after the US said it would end a 35-year arms embargo against the Greek-Cypriot government that’s a member of the European Union.
Officials on the occupied side said they can “never accept the support and encouragement of the Greek-Cypriot administration by the US administration in the military and political arena,” Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported.
That was over the US announcing that under the Defense Department National Guard’s State Partnership Program, the Greek-Cypriot administration has been paired with the National Guard in New Jersey.
“This declaration of cooperation in the field of defense after lifting of the arms embargo has no other purpose than to escalate the tension on the island and in the region,” the Turkish-Cypriot side said.
Turkey said it would act to protect the Turkish-Cypriot side but no measures nor details were given as to what that would be except for complaints that the US is favoring the Greek-Cypriots even more.