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Cyprus wants to end the US and visa embargo

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<p>For Cypriot diplomacy, reaching an agreement on strategic dialogue with the United States is a huge success, as a result of a systematic effort that goes back more than a decade. </p>
<p>Nicosia is moving towards the next two extremely important goals of great political importance, the complete abolition of arms sales and the end of visa passports. She knows, however, that in order to reach the next station she will have to keep playing her cards right.</p>
<p>Taking over from its predecessors, the Christodoulidis government continued the effort to upgrade relations with the United States. The current President of the Republic himself, being Minister of Foreign Affairs, had seen first hand the importance of good relations with the USA, in many areas and what role they could play even in issues outside the agenda of bilateral relations.</p >
<p>He showed his intentions from the beginning by wanting to invest in upgrading the relations between the two countries. A task that was not easy, considering that Cypriot-American relations have been historically difficult and with a lot of suspicion on both sides. For the Cypriots, there was always the USA's large share of responsibility for the events of 1974 (coup d'état and Turkish invasion). For the Americans, there was a constant suspicion regarding the relations that Cyprus had, throughout time, with Moscow. A suspicion that extended, and also played a role in political matters, when Cyprus turned into the washing machine of the Russian oligarchs.</p>
<p>In addition, the relations between the two sides moved <strong>within the context of developments in the Cyprus </p>
<p> strong>and were therefore affected. It is an open secret that the attitude of the United States was largely influenced by relations with the two powerful NATO allies, Britain and Turkey. And no one could have expected Washington to go against its wider geopolitical interests in which London and Ankara played an important role for the sake of “a small piece of land”.</p>
<p>A series of events, however, contributed during the last decade to begin a systematic and steady change in the relations between the two countries. With the dialogue being more and more on a purely bilateral agenda and going outside the frame of the Cypriot, which by the way came out (in various phases) the same won (there were sessions in the Security Council where the position of the Americans was beyond the expected supportive of Cyprus).</p>
<p>An issue that kept the relations between the two countries at bay was<strong> the arms embargo</strong>at the expense of Cyprus. An embargo imposed on Turkey for its invasion of Cyprus 50 years ago and in the end the Cypriot side was found to be under strict restriction for over four decades while for the Turkish side it was only a few years.</p>
<p> In recent years it has been possible to achieve a partial lifting of the embargo and to allow the acquisition by Cyprus of some military systems. At the same time, it is required on an annual basis that the American Congress gives its approval in order for the decision to partially lift the embargo to remain in force.</p>
<p><strong>Through the agreement for strategic dialogue</strong>Nicosia hopes to achieve its goal of fully lifting the US embargo on military arms sales to Cyprus, without requiring annual congressional approval. An effort which, however, is not considered easy because in this matter the Turkey factor and Washington-Ankara relations in NATO come into play. Relations which the Turkish side has used over time in order to keep the embargo against Cyprus alive.</p>
<p>In the context of the dialogue, which started and is progressing between the two sides, it is expected that one of the areas on which both will work systematically is the cooperation in the military sector. Cooperation that will concern actions of mutual benefit and which will not have to do with other military actions of the United States in the region or elsewhere that Cyprus is practically unable to cope with.</p>
<p><img decoding=

Hosted Republic of Cyprus Foreign Minister @ckombos to further our bilateral relationship. Through the Cyprus Maritime Corridor, we’re working together to get essential aid to Gaza. We’ll continue to strengthen relations in our strategic dialogue this fall. pic.twitter.com/m0CACm5zI0

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) June 18, 2024

Foreign Minister, Konstantinos Kombos, noted that it is for an important day for both countries: “We are moving forward to create a structured dialogue, a dialogue that will be intensive, and this is for the benefit of our peoples, our two countries.  We share common foundations, our core values, our respect, our commitment to democracy, the rule of law, our opposition to aggression and revisionism and to those we stand with, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere where we have such incidents “.

The next steps and benefits

To implement the strategic dialogue, a step-by-step process will be followed:

Holding annual meetings between high-ranking delegations of the two countries in Nicosia and Washington. The first round of consultations in the framework of the strategic dialogue is expected to take place in Nicosia next September between high-ranking delegations of the two ministries.

The strategic dialogue is an institutional tool of the US with friendly countries, with the  in which the United States maintains regular sectoral cooperation in strategic areas on a case-by-case basis where mutual interests coincide. To date, they have established a strategic dialogue with 30 countries, of which 13 are EU member states.

For Cyprus, its inclusion in this category/group of countries is seen as strengthening the position of the Republic of Cyprus as a close partner of the USA. Through the strategic dialogue, the framework is created for deepening and consolidating strategic cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States. Additionally, it is a recognition that the two countries have a common path based on shared democratic values ​​and interests.

The benefits for Cyprus from this cooperation are:

Tightening of policies, economic, social and cultural ties between the two peoples. Strengthening of the North Korean-US cooperation in important areas, such as security and energy. The stabilizing role of Cyprus in the region is highlighted and consolidated. New perspectives are opening up for American investments in Cyprus. Trade with the USA is being strengthened, with the aim of promoting Cypriot products on the American market. Creating opportunities for young men and women in diverse ways (eg through universities and student exchange, and providing know-how through educational programs) Significant possibilities for cooperation in the field of research and technology are being developed.

The importance of the economic aspect of the agreement was also shown through the immediate positive reaction that came from economic agents and links in Cyprus.

Source: www.philenews.com

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