Christodoulides optimistic US will lift Cyprus arms embargo in security boost


Cyprus's foreign minister says he is optimistic that the US will soon start lifting a decades-old arms embargo because Washington acknowledges the island nation's contribution to bolstering stability and security in the east Mediterranean.

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides told The Associated Press on Friday that Washington sees the "added value" of allowing Cyprus to acquire military equipment that would help enhance its capabilities to boost regional security.

Christodoulides said he has conveyed to his Russian counterpart that stronger ties with Washington should not be interpreted as "prejudicial" to Cyprus's relations with any other country.

He said Cyprus's foreign policy doesn't engage in a "zero-sum game."

Christodoulides said the US and some European Union countries are keen to join energy-based partnerships that Cyprus has established with neighboring countries including Egypt, Jordan and Israel. [AP]