Cyprus has continued to make progress in strengthening banking efforts to combat terrorist financing, according to the State Department's report on terrorism for 2020. In addition, the end of the Cypriot investment program - "golden passport scheme" - will help prevent the EU passport market from terrorists, along with their sponsors and financiers, according to the US State Department.
"The Republic of Cyprus scrapped the controversial plan to grant citizenship to investors in October, following Al Jazeera revelations that showed widespread corruption in the application process. "The termination of the program will help prevent terrorists and their sponsors and financiers from buying an EU passport and having enhanced access to the EU financial systems that this entails."
"it (the Green line) is largely open to civilian crossings and remains an important gateway for human trafficking, drugs and smuggling."
The report covers the Republic of Cyprus without reference to the occupied territories. The report also states that the Republic of Cyprus has worked closely with the United States, the EU and other countries, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to combat terrorism in 2020, based on an international framework, adding that Cyprus is a member of the Global Coalition against Islamic State.
The State Department also referred to the Green Line, noting that "it is largely open to civilian crossings and remains an important gateway for human trafficking, drugs and smuggling." While noting that the division of the island hinders the cooperation between the two communities and between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey in matters of fighting terrorism because they do not maintain diplomatic relations.
According to the report, there were no terrorist incidents in Cyprus in 2020. Moreover, it stated that progress was being made in local legislation, law enforcement and border security, referring to the second anniversary of the signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent on Security Cooperation between the US and the Republic of Cyprus
Reference was also made to the exchange of fingerprints in the framework of the US-Cyprus agreement for the Prevention and Fight against Serious Crime, as well as to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2020 by Foreign Ministers Mike Pompeo and Nikos Christodoulidis for the construction of K Maritime Borders, Offshore and Port Security (CYCLOPS).
In line with its efforts to fight against terrorism, the US donated an underwater camera system to the Port and Maritime Police, mainly for use in the port of Limassol.
Other developments include the donation of equipment for a mobile laboratory to the Digital Security Authority, for forensic analysis and cyber investigations. The report also mentions talks on a bilateral pilot program to improve the Republic of Cyprus's controls on travelers and to identify criminals and terrorists, as well as training opportunities.
The State Department notes that despite significant successes against terrorism, terrorist groups continue to pose a threat internationally.
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the terrorist landscape, creating challenges and opportunities for terrorist groups, the report said.