Turkey has condemned the surprise move by the US administration to remove the decades old arms embargo imposed on Cyprus, with its foreign ministry issuing a statement over the weekend.
Ironically and perhaps a symbolically calculated move the United States announced they were lifting the arms embargo on Cyprus just as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan landed in New York ahead of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly where he is expected to launch into a tirade against Greece and Cyprus.
Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement on the US arms embargo decision:
"We strongly condemn the expansion of the scope of the decision taken by the U.S. in September 2020 to lift the arms embargo towards the Greek Cypriot Administration.
"We fully support the reaction of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) authorities regarding the said decision.
"This decision, which is in contradiction to the principle of equality of the two sides on the Island, and which will further strengthen the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigence, will negatively affect the efforts to resettle the Cyprus issue; and it will lead to an arms race on the Island, harming peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
"We call on the U.S. to reconsider this decision and to pursue a balanced policy towards the two sides on the Island.
"The international community, including the U.S., should reaffirm the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot people, which were also confirmed by the 1959-60 Agreements, and act accordingly.
"In any case, Türkiye, as guarantor country, in line with its legal and historical responsibilities, will continue to take necessary steps for the existence, security and serenity of the Turkish Cypriots, by all means."