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Turkey: US plan to train Greek Cyprus militarily do not promote stability

Greek (C) and Cypriot (R) national flags wave at military trucks in Nicosia on 1 October 2019 [IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images]
Greek (C) and Cypriot (R) national flags wave at military trucks in Nicosia on 1 October 2019 [IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images]

Turkey yesterday criticised the US for including Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program, Anadolu reported.

According to a statement published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey reminded its ally, the US, that equal treatment of both sides on the Cyprus Island is a basic UN principle.

“Initiatives that do not observe balance between parties will not contribute to establishing a secure environment on the Island, nor will they help keep peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in the statement.

Turkey supports the approach of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on this matter, the statement said.

“As we have stressed many times before, these steps will not contribute to finding a solution to the Cyprus issue but instead strengthen the uncompromising approach of the Greek side,” it added.

READ: Turkey warns it will respond if EU takes fresh measures against it

Earlier in the day, the United States announced its intention to provide International Military Education and Training (IMET) to Cyprus (Eastern Cyprus) starting next year.

“We plan to provide IMET to the Republic of Cyprus beginning in U.S. fiscal year 2021, subject to Congressional appropriations and notification,” said a statement from the US embassy in Nicosia.

Last January, Greece, Israel and Cyprus signed a joint agreement to launch an East-Mediterranean pipeline to pump gas to Europe, via the Eastern Mediterranean, in response to the Turkish-Libyan agreement to demarcate the sea borders in the same region, which the three countries and Egypt have rejected.

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