Turkey slams US military decision on Greek Cyprus
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
"Initiatives that do not observe the balance between parties will not contribute to establishing a secure environment on the Island, nor will they help keep peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement.
The statement noted that the U.S. included Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program for 2020.
Turkey supports the approach of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in this matter, the statement said.
"As we have stressed many times before, these steps will not contribute to finding a solution to the Cyprus issue but instead strengthens the uncompromising approach of the Greek side,” it added.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. has included Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program for 2020.
“The Department of State intends to provide International Military Education and Training funding to that country, contingent on congressional appropriations and our notification of Congress,” Pompeo said at a press briefing in Washington.
“This is part of our efforts to enhance relationships with key regional partners to promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he added.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cyprus also criticized the U.S. for including Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program.
"It is not understandable how to benefit regional stability by increasing bilateral military activities and programs between the US and Greek Cyprus rather than a comprehensive dialogue and cooperation involving all sides,"
said the Presidency of the Turkish Cyprus in a statement.
The statement noted that one-sided initiatives will have a negative impact on efforts between both sides on the island and on regional stability.
“The way for the US to contribute to regional peace and stability rather than military support and cooperation is through balancing both sides in Cyprus and promoting constructive dialogue and cooperation between regional actors,” said the statement.