Selava Omar – Xeber24.net – “Agencies”
Cyprus welcomed, on Thursday, the US decision to grant it funding for military exercises with its forces for the first time, noting that the move strengthens ties between the two countries.
And Washington announced its decision, on Wednesday, which angered Turkey, a Washington ally in NATO, which occupies the northern third of the Mediterranean island.
The Cypriot government spokesman, Kyriakos Koshos, considered the decision “a new measure that contributes to the enhancement of Cyprus’ relations with the United States”
“Koshos” said that Cyprus will continue to cooperate and strengthen its relations with all countries to enhance stability and security in the region.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters, “This is part of our effort to strengthen ties with key regional partners to enhance stability in the eastern Mediterranean.”
But Turkey was quick to protest against Washington’s decision to strengthen its military cooperation with Nicosia.
“Such measures do not contribute to efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, but rather reinforce the rigid position of the Greek Cypriot side,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The decision comes after the US Congress ended last year a decades-old arms embargo on the Mediterranean island, of which Turkey occupies a northern one-third.
The Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 between the European Union member Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Ankara.