Turkey will re-enforce its military presence in breakaway northern Cyprus after the United States lifted defence trade restrictions on Cyprus, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
Speaking in a televised interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Erdogan said the lifting of the restrictions was “inexplicable in terms of content and timing.”
Erdogan’s threats came even though Turkey invaded Cyprus back in 1974 and still maintains troops in the north of the EU-member island in violation of international law and order.
Turkey is the only country that recognises the illegal ‘state’ in the north of the divided island.
Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department said Secretary of State Antony Blinken had lifted defense trade restrictions for Cyprus for fiscal year 2023.
And that Blinken determined and certified to Congress that the Republic of Cyprus has met the necessary conditions under relevant legislation to allow the approval of exports, re-exports, and transfers of defense articles to the Republic of Cyprus for fiscal year 2023.
Compliance with the conditions is assessed on an annual basis. As a result of this determination and certification, the Secretary lifted the defense trade restrictions for the Republic of Cyprus for fiscal year 2023.
The International Traffic in Arms Regulations will be amended to reflect the new policy, effective October 1, 2022.