US, Cyprus relations enjoying historic high

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The United States views the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) as an important partner for regional stability, security, and prosperity, working closely with Nicosia to advance shared security priorities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to a US State Department Bureau of Political-Military Affairs fact sheet, cooperation between the United States and the ROC is at a historic high.

In late 2018 the United States and the ROC signed a Statement of Intent on bilateral security cooperation.

And in December 2019, the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act was signed into law with strong bipartisan support, highlighting the United States’ security interests in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

“Since then, our security partnership has continued to deepen in the areas of counterterrorism, non-proliferation, maritime security, search and rescue, counter-trafficking, cybersecurity, disaster and emergency response, and non-combatant evacuation,” the fact sheet said.

Examples of concrete success include first-time ROC participation in the US International Military Education Training Program (IMET); ROC support for deployment of US troops in 2020; ground-breaking for the $5-million Cyprus Centre for Land, Open-sea, and Port Security (CYCLOPS) regional training centre focused on border security.

There was also the accreditation of the ROC’s first Defence Attaché at its embassy in Washington; joint military exercises and port visits by US naval vessels to Cyprus; joint training to improve maritime security and cybersecurity; temporarily waiving International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions to allow for the direct commercial sale of non-lethal defence articles and services to and from the ROC.

Moreover, the US Bureau of Political-Military Affairs said: “Our bilateral partnership also continues to grow in other areas of common interest, such as countering illicit financial flows, diversifying European energy sources, fostering opportunities for greater trade and investment, and protecting cultural heritage.” (source CNA)