Türkiye has strongly condemned the expansion of the scope of the decision taken by the U.S. in September 2020 to lift the arms embargo on Greek Cyprus, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said, Trend reports citing Hurriyet Daily News.
In a statement issued on Sept. 17, the ministry highlighted that the country “fully supports” the reaction of Turkish Cyprus authorities regarding the decision.
On Sept. 16, the U.S. totally lifted the arms embargo on Greek Cyprus for a year, which started in 1987, and partially lifted it two years ago.
Greek Cyprus leader Nikos Anastasiadis called the decision a “milestone,” as Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar criticized it saying, “The Greek Cypriots will take courage and increase the tension.”
“We can not be a mere spectator, and we will take action,” Tatar added.
Ankara called on the U.S. to “reconsider the decision” and “pursue a balanced policy towards the two sides on the island.”
“This decision, which is in contradiction to the principle of equality of the two sides on the island and which will further strengthen the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigence, will negatively affect the efforts to resettle the Cyprus issue; and it will lead to an arms race on the island, harming peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
“The international community, including the U.S., should reaffirm the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot people, which were also confirmed by the 1959-60 Agreements, and act accordingly,” it said.