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Turkey Condemns US-Cyprus Agreement on Building New Training Facility, Foreign Ministry Says

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Turkey - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US-Cyprus agreement to construct a new regional border security training center on the island will not contribute to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, Spokesperson of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hami Aksoy said.

"The steps taken by the US, such as lifting the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot Administration and including the Greek side in the military training program disrupt the balance between the two peoples on the island and increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean," Aksoy said.

The spokesperson said that the US actions will not contribute to reaching a compromise on the Cyprus issue and the agreement on the construction of the new training center will not contribute to regional peace and stability.

Aksoy said that Turkey was urging the US to return to the policy of neutrality that it had pursued in Cyprus and to contribute to efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced during his Saturday visit to Cyprus that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides on the construction of a new training center (Cyprus Center for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security, or CYCLOPS) to be funded by the US and built in Cyprus.

According to the State Department, the US will provide equipment, trainers and other support for the new training center, which will help provide assistance in areas related to security and safety, including customs and exports control, as well as port and maritime security, and cybersecurity.

Aksoy pointed out that Pompeo did not meet with the Turkish Cypriot community during his Saturday visit to Cyprus.

Cyprus and Turkey have been engaged in a prolonged dispute over offshore drilling rights since the discovery of the first gas deposits off the coast of the island in 2011. Cyprus has been split into the Greek Cypriot-run south and the Turkish Cypriot government in the north since 1974.

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