Cyprus dismisses reports on NATO scenarios
Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides says the Republic of Cyprus is not seeking membership into NATO or Partnership for Peace, reiterating that issues of security and defense are discussed inline with EU membership.
Christodoulides addressed reports that offered scenarios of Cyprus joining NATO, with the foreign minister clarifying there was no such effort either to join NATO or the Partnership for Peace.
The foreign minister acknowledged that several scenarios were popping up in the wake of US Congress currently discussing the lifting of an arms embargo to Cyprus, imposed by the superpower in 1992.
On the American side, Senator Bob Menendez introduced a bill last month that would end the arms embargo, citing small impact on US national security but potentially pushing Cyprus closer to Russia.
A month earlier, Cypriot Defense Minister Savvas Angelides sounded out US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy Thomas Goffus on the possibility of lifting the US embargo on the sale of military weapons.
Angelides argued for lifting the weapons embargo to Cyprus, noting the importance this will play in enhancing bilateral relations.
But Christodoulides remarked on the general topic of NATO, saying it was not the subject of bilateral discussions between Cyprus and the United States.
“This conversation has to do with bilateral relations between our country and the USA and it is in no way linked to NATO or the Partnership,” the foreign minister said.