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Congress adds new irritant in US-Turkey relations with pro-Cyprus push

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee want to lift the arms sale ban on the disputed island.
Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags wave next to a drilling tower 25 km (16 miles) from Famagusta April 26, 2012. Turkish Cypriot Leader Dervis Eroglu and Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz attended a ceremony marking the start of joint gas and oil exploration works in northern Cyprus between Turkey's state-owned energy company TPAO and the Turkish-Cypriot administration. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (CYPRUS - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY BUSINESS) - GM1E84Q1HIQ01
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Turkey critics on Capitol Hill could add a new irritant to the strained bilateral relationship with legislation retooling longstanding US policy toward the disputed island of Cyprus.

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., joined Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., this week to introduce the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Partnership Act, which would lift the decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus. The bill also authorizes the Donald Trump administration to enter into energy cooperation agreements between Cyprus, Greece and Israel.

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