TRNC Foreign Minister slams south Cyprus over armament efforts

TRNC Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has called out the south Cyprus government over it's ongoing armament efforts and the decision by the US and France to sell deadly weapons to the Greek Cypriot side is leading to an arms race.

He said that such moves will be met with a response by Türkiye and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu slammed the Greek Cypriot administration on Tuesday following the latest remarks by the Greek Cypriot Defence Minister who said that they had raised the country’s armament programme to its highest level in 20 years.

“Despite the fact that we always choose dialogue and diplomacy over confrontation, the Greek Cypriot administration is continuing its armament activities on the island and in the buffer zone. We would like everyone to know that these activities will not be left without a response,” he said.

Ertuğruoğlu said that the Greek Cypriot side was allocating €200m to purchase weapons, including unmanned drones and attack helicopters.

He added that the decision by the US to lift the 30-year-old arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration, to allow the Greek Cypriot forces to take part in more than 40 military training exercises revealed the threat that existed for the Turkish Cypriot people.

The foreign minister also reminded that the Greek Cypriot National Guard had placed heavy weapons bunkers and installations along the Green Line.

“The Greek Cypriot side’s hostile stance despite all our good will sheds light as to why it has not been possible to reach a mutually acceptable solution to this day,” he said.

Ertuğruloğlu also said that the Greek Cypriot side’s continued armament and the sale of weapons to the Greek Cypriot administration were leading to a dangerous arms race.

“In response to these threats, the Turkish Cypriot people and motherland Türkiye which is a regional power continue to take necessary steps with determination,” he stressed.


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