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Biden Expresses Commitment to Strong US-Cyprus Relations

Cyprus
Credit: Washington OXI Day Foundation

US President Biden sent a message of support to Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades late Wednesday night, according to Cypriot government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos.

Koushos stated that in a letter addressed to Anastasiades, Biden called Cyprus a “significant partner” in improving security and stability in the region.

Biden also pledged that relations between the two countries, which are already quite good, would only improve in the future.

Biden expresses concern over Varosia, Cyprus problem

In response to the most recent round of diplomatic talks between Cyprus and Turkey, Biden expressed that the US stands with Cyprus, and supports the creation of a Bicommunal Bizonal Federation.

This is based on a plan proposed by the US, Canada, and Britain in 1979. It involves the reunification of the island, the withdrawal of Turkish and all foreign troops, and meaningful reparations to Greek Cypriots.

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus — which is not recognized by any government int eWorld outside of Turkey — support a two-state solution.

Cyprus has been split in two since the Turkish Army invaded in 1974, installing a Turkish puppet regime in the north, which is recognized only by Turkey, and the Republic of Cyprus in the south, which is internationally recognized.

Additionally, Biden expressed concern at the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ move to open the ghost town of Varosha in Ammoxostos, which has remained empty since the invasion in 1974, in October 2020.

The provocative decision to open the seaside city was supported by Turkey.

In March, Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said that the administration takes talks on Cyprus’ division “very, very seriously”.

“We strongly support a comprehensive settlement that reunifies Cyprus in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

“We will engage in the effort to advance that prospect, including supporting the critical role of the United as well direct American engagement in that effort. So I think you’ll see American diplomacy fully engaged,” he told the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee.

Cyprus sits at strategic location in the Eastern Med

Cyprus, comprising the southeastern corner of the EU, just off he coast of the Middle East, shares friendly diplomatic ties with many nations in the region.

As a presidential candidate last year, Biden shared his “manifesto for Greek-American relations” under his administration. Included were pledges to “work diplomatically to bring a resolution to the Cyprus question” and continue “opposing the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus.”

The Cyprus Center for Land, Open-Seas, and Port Security (CYCLOPS), an innovative security site that has been partially funded by the US, is scheduled to begin operations in January, 2022.

The island nation’s strategic position in the Mediterranean has made it a significant player in the region since antiquity, and the addition of the innovative site has thrust Cyprus into the forefront of politics in the Eastern Med.

Countries in the EU and the Middle East are vying to train security, maritime, and border control personnel in the latest techniques and equipment at the cutting edge site.

“Officials from neighboring countries as well as from EU member states will receive the kind of training required to counter common threats of a non-military nature,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides stated Thursday.

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