17:31 GMT +314 December 2018
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    An aircraft takes off from royal air forces base in Akrotiri, near costal city of Limassol, Cyprus, on Thursday, April 12, 2018

    Cypriot Authorities Not Aiming for Country's Military Build-Up

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The authorities of Cyprus do not seek and have not ever sought to militarize the country, Prodromos Prodromou, the Cypriot government spokesman said.

    "We would like to clarify that it has never been our aim nor do we now seek the militarization of Cyprus," Prodromou said as quoted by the In-Cyprus news outlet.

    Cyprus backed only humanitarian operations of a country if this state had requested the support or if Nicosia had concluded a memorandum of understanding with this country, the government spokesman added.

    On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Moscow has been receiving information about the US authorities exploring possibilities to boost military build-up in Cyprus.

    Zakharova has warned that the US military build-up in Cyprus would destabilize the country. The diplomat suggested that Washington sought to counter Moscow’s increasing influence in the region in the light of Russia’s successful anti-terror operation in Syria.

    READ MORE: UK, EU Agree on British Military Bases in Cyprus, Gibraltar

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when the Turkish troops entered the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared in 1983 and is recognized only by Turkey, while the international community considers it to be a part of the Republic of Cyprus. Numerous rounds of talks have been held, with the United Nations and the European Union promoting the negotiations, but no result has been reached.

    In November, Greece and Cyprus issued statements dedicated to the 35th anniversary of proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), once again saying that the move was illegal and was condemned by the whole international community.

    Athens has called on Ankara to comply with resolutions of the UN Security Council that demand to put an end to the "illegal" existence of the TRNC. Greece also called on Turkey to work on a fair and comprehensive solution of the Cypriot conflict that will ensure fundamental rights of all residents of the island.

    Meanwhile, The United States and Cyprus have agreed to bolster their bilateral security relationship by signing a statement of intent, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a news release in early November.

    READ MORE: Greece Hopes to Solve Cyprus Issue After Name Change Deal With Macedonia

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    tension, influence, military build up, United States, Russia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus
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