Cicilline Proposal to Strengthen U.S.-Cyprus Relations Adopted in U.S. House

Jul 11, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) successfully included an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives today to end the U.S. arms embargo in Cyprus, which currently forces the nation to depend on other countries, including those that may pose challenges to U.S. national security interests around the world, for defense-related materials.


“The Republic of Cyprus has long been a key ally in the fight against terrorism and emerging threats in Europe, but for more than 25 years, this embargo has not reflected the strength and importance of that relationship,” Cicilline said. “Ending this outdated policy by passing my amendment is critical in maintaining stability in the region and a strategic partner for generations to come. I thank my colleagues for their continued support of the U.S.-Cyprus relationship and for their support of my amendment.”


The U.S. arms embargo in Cyprus dates back to 1987 and was originally intended to encourage reunification efforts on the island. In the time since the embargo, Turkey has undermined the spirit of this arrangement by stationing more than 30,000 Turkish troops in the occupied northern territory. Due to the embargo, Cyprus has been forced to obtain weapons and defensive articles from nations whose interests run counter to the United States.