President Mustafa Akıncı on Tuesday said that the US’s decision to partially lift its arms embargo against South Cyprus was a step taken in the wrong direction.
Akıncı’s statement came in response to the announcement of the decision by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a phone call on Tuesday evening with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Akıncı was informed of the decision on Tuesday evening by US Ambassador to South Cyprus Judith Gail Garber during a phone call.
Garber told Akıncı that the partial lifting of the embargo will last for one year – with the possibility of renewal – and applies to non-lethal systems.
She explained that her superiors had informed Anastasiades of the decision and that she had called to inform the Turkish Cypriot side of the move.
Akıncı for his part said that the move will further embolden the Greek Cypriot side from working towards a comprehensive solution and will harm peace efforts on the island.
“The decision will push the Greek Cypriot side away from the negotiating table. It is a wrong decision,” he added.
Akıncı pointed out that the US should not contribute to armament in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean but should assist in efforts to establish dialogue.