News Local US Congress to lift arms embargo on Cyprus

US Congress to lift arms embargo on Cyprus

The United States Congress is expected to approve by Thursday the lifting of the embargo concerning the sale of US arms in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, which is in place since 1987. The embargo will be lifted once Congress passes the National Defence Authorisation Act for 2020.

Although both Congress chambers passed two separate bills since the end of last July, it was not possible to agree on a single document due differences between Republicans and the Democrats in relation to the wall which US President Donald Trump wants to build along the US-Mexican border. In both texts, the wording concerning the lifting of the embargo is identical.

Last weekend there was an agreement among arbitrators appointed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. This was confirmed by prominent Democrats, without giving further details. The vote in the House is scheduled for Wednesday and will be followed by a vote in the Senate, later the same day or on Thursday. After the bill passes from both Chambers, it will go to President Trump for signature.

The bill allows US exports to the Republic of Cyprus in relation to the supply of defence-related material. It also notes that it is in the interest of the US to continue supporting UN-facilitated efforts for a comprehensive settlement to end the division of Cyprus. It also says that it is in the interest of the US that the Republic of Cyprus becomes part of the “Partnership for Peace” NATO program.

The provision to lift the embargo will enter immediately into force once the bill passes. According to information, the bill reiterates the ban on the transfer of F-35 fighters to Turkey.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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