Following the announcement of a joint security training centre that has the abbreviated name of CYCLOPS, Turkey said that the United States needs to return to a neutral stance on Cyprus, Reuters reported.
“The MoU signed between the US and the Greek Cypriot administration on Sept. 12, 2020 and envisaging the establishment of a ‘Land, High Seas and Port Security Center’ in the Greek Cypriot administration ignores the Turkish Cypriot side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
“We call on the US to return to its traditional policy of neutrality regarding the island and to contribute to the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue,” he added.
It is recalled the US will lift a 33-year arms embargo on Cyprus and deepen its security cooperation with Nicosia.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also visited Cyprus on Saturday where he expressed his concern about Turkey’s provocations in the East Mediterranean.
“Countries in the region need to resolve disagreements including on security and energy resource and maritime issues diplomatically and peacefully,” Pompeo said in his meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades that lasted an hour and a half.
“Increased military tensions help no one but adversaries who would like to see division in transatlantic unity,” he continued.
The US Department of State emphasized that Washington’s support for CYCLOPS “is a true partnership” with Cyprus. “The United States will provide equipment, trainers, and other capacity-building support, while the Republic of Cyprus will contribute land, facilitate travel, and provide trainers. Construction of the training facility is expected to begin later this year,” the statement concluded.
In 1974, Turkey invaded the northern parts of the island to prevent Cyprus from uniting with Greece and to this day continues an illegal occupation. The occupation is to maintain the quasi “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” that is recognized by no other state in the world bar Turkey and is recognized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 541 and UN Security Council Resolution 550 as illegal.
In 1987, the U.S. embargoed arms sales to Cyprus under the pretext of preventing an arms build-up on the island and encourage reunification efforts.