Cyprus ‘vindicated’ by US lifting arms ban

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Lifting of the decades-long US arms embargo against Cyprus has vindicated the country for clearly demonstrating its policies belong to the West and does not waver from political allies, said Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.

Nouris was addressing a US event for the anniversary of Cyprus Independence, organised by the Federation of Cypriot Organisations of America, in cooperation with PSEKA and the Consulate of Cyprus in New York.

This is a day “of assessment, reflection and consideration of the debt we owe to our shared homeland,” Nouris said, pledging the government will “continue to work tirelessly and with determination to break the current (peace talks) deadlock”.

Nouris reminded that Cyprus is the only divided European country.

The last round of UN-backed talks, under the UN aegis, to reunite the island under a federal roof, took place in July 2017 in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana but failed.

He also referred to the “revisionism” of Turkey, which, as he said, insists on “aggressive rhetoric”, choosing to deteriorate the relations between the two sides.

“And it is precisely for this reason that we welcome the latest resounding decision of the American government to finally lift a long-standing injustice and discrimination against the Republic of Cyprus, with the complete lifting of the embargo on the supply of American weapons systems”.

He added: “It is a vindication for the stability of the positions of the government of President Anastasiades, which has clearly demonstrated with its policies that Cyprus belongs to the West and does not waver when it comes to our political allies.”

Turkey said it is sending more occupation troops to the north because of the US decision.

Nouris also paid tribute to the Cypriot diaspora.

“You have been the main pillar of consolidating and strengthening cooperation and diplomatic relations between Cyprus and the countries you live in, making yourselves great ambassadors of our national positions and justice and our culture and history.”