US Senator Robert Menendez on Tuesday welcomed a US decision to lift a long-standing arms embargo on Cyprus, saying he was "delighted" to see recognition of the importance of the US relationship with Cyprus.
“I welcome this signal of our commitment towards a mutually beneficial partnership with Cyprus & look forward to the continued implementation of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act,” Menendez wrote on Twitter, referring to a 2019 law recalibrating American diplomatic, military, and economic policy towards the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a full statement responding to the decision by the State Department to officially lift the US arms export restriction of non-lethal defense equipment and services to Cyprus for a year, Menendez wrote that he was “delighted” with the move.
“I am delighted to see recognition of the importance of our relationship with Cyprus, a reliable strategic partner for our nation,” Menendez wrote. “It is in our national security interest to lift these outdated decades-long arms restrictions and deepen our security relationship with the Republic of Cyprus.”
The statement continued, “While long overdue, allowing sales of non-lethal security equipment, coupled with the earlier announcement of a US military and education training program, reflects the critical importance of the US-Republic of Cyprus bilateral relationship and the growing importance of the Eastern Mediterranean region to US national security interests.
“I welcome this signal of our commitment towards a mutually beneficial partnership with Cyprus, and look forward to the continued implementation of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, the foundation of a sustained and durable US policy to this important region of the world.”