The United States has announced its intention to provide International Military Education and Training (IMET) to the Cypriot Army beginning in 2021. This is based on the State Department’s strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Twitter account of the US Embassy in Cyprus Twitter posted: “We’re strengthening our security partnership with the Republic of #Cyprus by providing International Military Education and Training. The IMET program promotes regional stability & defense capabilities through professional military education and training.”
“The IMET program is a key component of U.S. security assistance, promoting regional stability and defense capabilities through professional military education and training. Through professional and technical courses, and with specialized instruction, IMET provides students from allied and friendly nations valuable training and education on U.S. military practices and standards,” the US embassy said in a statement.
“IMET serves as an effective means to strengthen military partnerships and international coalitions that defend our national security interests. IMET facilitates the development of important professional and personal relationships among defense leaders. It also helps develop a common understanding of shared international challenges and fosters the relationships necessary to counter those challenges collaboratively,” the statement explained.
The US embassy then identified Cyprus as being a part of its Eastern Mediterranean Strategy but did not mention when it will end its weapon sanctions on the island country.
“Offering IMET to the Republic of Cyprus is consistent with the Department of State’s Eastern Mediterranean Strategy and the policy intent of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019, both of which aim to strengthen our security partnership with the Republic of Cyprus,” the statement said.
“The Republic of Cyprus is an important partner in the Eastern Mediterranean region. We look forward to continuing to deepen our bilateral relationship as we promote regional stability,” it concluded.
Cyprus is not a member of NATO, and is rather partially occupied by NATO-member Turkey. The US has an arms embargo on Cyprus, meaning that it mostly buys its weapons from Russia.