Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the State Department announced it would officially lift the U.S. arms export restriction of non-lethal defense equipment and services to the Republic of Cyprus for a full year. Today’s decision is pursuant to Menendez’s Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019, a law that provides a comprehensive recalibration of American diplomatic, military, and economic policy towards the Eastern Mediterranean.
“I am delighted to see recognition of the importance of our relationship with Cyprus, a reliable strategic partner for our nation. It is in our national security interest to lift these outdated decades-long arms restrictions and deepen our security relationship with the Republic of Cyprus.
“While long overdue, allowing sales of non-lethal security equipment, coupled with the earlier announcement of a U.S. military and education training program, reflects the critical importance of the U.S.-Republic of Cyprus bilateral relationship and the growing importance of the Eastern Mediterranean region to U.S. national security interests.
“I welcome this signal of our commitment towards a mutually beneficial partnership with Cyprus, and look forward to the continued implementation of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, the foundation of a sustained and durable U.S. policy to this important region of the world.”
A lifetime champion for the U.S.-Republic of Cyprus bilateral relationship, Senator Menendez is the author of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act and the End the Cyprus Embargo Act.