Turkey criticises U.S. decision to train Cypriot military

Turkey criticised the United States on Wednesday for including the Cypriot military in its international training programme.

"Initiatives that do not observe the balance between parties will not contribute to establishing a secure environment on the island, nor will they help keep peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

"As we have repeatedly emphasised before, this and similar steps do not contribute to the efforts towards the settlement of the Cyprus issue, but on the contrary, lead to strengthening the intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriot side," Aksoy said.

The International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme, administrated by the U.S. Defence Department, provides training and education on U.S. military practices and standards and aims at building alliances for the future.

“This is part of our efforts to enhance relationships with key regional partners to promote stability in the eastern Mediterranean,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Cyprus is divided between the internationally-recognised Republic of Cyprus, dominated by Greek Cypriots, in the south and the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey.


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