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AHI Responds to Correct the Record on Arms Prohibition on Cyprus

NO. 22

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) responded to correct the record of a May 20 commentary authored by Mr. Kudret Özersay published by The Hill, a top U.S. political website vital to policy, politics, and election campaigns. 

Mr. Özersay, the deputy prime minister and minister of Foreign Affairs, of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” criticized the recently introduced Eastern Mediterranean Security and Partnership Act in his piece, “Ending the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.” He suggested that lifting the Cyprus “arms embargo,” which the legislation would do, would be “the worst move for the region” and would “do nothing to encourage both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to seek resolution to the Cyprus issue.” Continue Reading
  In his Letter to Editor, AHI President Nick Larigakis presents several points for lifting the arms prohibition on Cyprus, including the importance the United States places on Cyprus as an anchor of stability in the region.  Larigakis also dismisses Ozersay’s assertion the Republic of Cyprus is interested in some sort of armed conflict or arms race with the “TRNC” by lifting the arms prohibition especially because Turkey illegally maintains 40,000 troops on the island.
 “In addition, a Republic of Cyprus capable of buying arms from the U.S. does not pose an existential threat against Turkey, which has the second largest army in NATO,” writes Larigakis.
Larigakis adds that any scrutiny as to why the Cyprus issue remains unsolved must be directed at Turkey, its intransigence and recent provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

The Hill’s editor notified AHI the publication had published several letters in response to Mr. Ozersay’s commentary and did not want to engage in further “back and forth” on the issue by publishing President Larigakis’ letter.

·     Click here to read AHI’s response