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US officials say partial lift of Cyprus arms embargo not related to Turkish-Greek tensions

Amid ongoing Turkey-Greece tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, US officials maintained the partial lifting of an arms embargo on Cyprus aims to reduce Russian influence and is not a step against Ankara’s recent maneuvers in the region.
A picture taken from Cyprus' warship "Ioannides" shows a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter taking part in the "Multinational CIMIC Exercise, ARGONAUT 2019, Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations, a rescue drill in which the militaries of Cyprus, Greece, France, Britain, Israel, Germany and the US participated on May 30, 2019 off the coast of Mari between the southern ports of Larnaca and Limassol in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. (Photo by Iakovos Hatzistavrou / AFP)        (Photo credit should read IAKOV

ISTANBUL — As the Turkey-Greece row on overlapping territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean continues, regional tensions were further aggravated when the United States announced the partial lifting of an arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus Tuesday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Washington would deepen security cooperation with Cyprus in a tweet Tuesday, stating the United States would waive restrictions on non-lethal weapon sales to the nation for the coming year.

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