Nicosia has urged the United States to lift a decades-long arms embargo on weapons to Cyprus as it is a trusted partner in the US-led fight against terrorism.
Cypriot Defence Minister Savvas Angelides has asked US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Policy Thomas Goffus on the possibility of lifting the US embargo on the sale of military weapons.
“There was an exchange of views on the regional role of Cyprus and the cooperation Cyprus has been developing with countries which are allies of the United States in the region and how it can contribute in enhancing bilateral relations and combating terrorism,” a Defence Ministry statement said.
The American official promised to convey Nicosia's arguments to Washington
Angelides said Cyprus wanted to "further grow and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation in the areas of defence and security with the US”.
He assured Cyprus’ support in the fight against terrorism while he also referred to the provocations against Cyprus by Turkey, a NATO member state.
Washington's decision to block the export of arms to Cyprus has been enforced since 1992.
Regardless of this Turkish troops occupying the breakaway north are armed with American weapons.
Angelides argued for lifting the weapons embargo to Cyprus, noting the importance this will play in enhancing bilateral relations.
The American official promised to convey Nicosia's arguments to Washington.
The two men also discussed energy planning and Goffus expressed support for the Republic of Cyprus’ plans within its Exclusive Economic Zone.
In February Turkish navy vessels prevented a drillship, commissioned by the Italian oil giant ENI, to conduct exploratory drilling off Cyprus. Nicosia has protested Turkey’s moves in the Eastern Mediterranean.