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Congress sides with Cyprus against Turkey as eastern Mediterranean heats up

Congress just passed two bills siding with Cyprus in its territorial and natural gas dispute with Turkey.
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

Congress passed two bills Tuesday that will lend significant US support to Cyprus in its territorial and energy disputes with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Senate voted 86-8 Tuesday for a conditional lift on the US arms embargo for Cyprus as part of the annual defense authorization bill, which passed the House 377-48 last week. Hours later, the House passed a compromise foreign aid spending bill 297-120 that bolsters security aid for Cyprus while rebuking Turkey for its oil exploration activities off the Cypriot coast.

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