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AHI Publishes Issue Brief on Lifting the Arms Prohibition on Cyprus

No. 49

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) announces the publication of an Issue Brief on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) under which the United States has prohibited the sales of U.S. defense articles/services to the Republic of Cyprus since 1985.  The ITAR lists the Republic of Cyprus, along with countries such as Sudan and Somalia, as a country to which transfers of U.S. defense articles/services are prohibited. 

In June, AHI discussed the issue with State Department officials and submitted a memorandum with the key points which are in the Issue Brief.  The officials forwarded the memorandum to the appropriate office for review.  Since June, AHI has raised the issue in follow-up meetings with the State Department.

The Issue Brief describes the ITAR, analyzes why the prohibition on the Republic of Cyprus is unlawful, explains how the State Department itself can remove the Republic of Cyprus from the application of the ITAR prohibition and concludes that legislation is not necessary.

“We contend the State Department has the legal authority to remedy what has been, for years, an unlawful prohibition on arms transfers to the Republic of Cyprus,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “We urge the State Department to exercise the requisite political will to get this done.  It is in the best interests of the United States for the Republic of Cyprus to look to the United States, and not any other nation, to procure its defense materials.”

The Prohibition on Transfers of Defense Articles/Services which the U.S. State Department has imposed on the Republic of Cyprus