Turkey criticizes US decision to include Cyprus in International Military Education and Training Program

Turkey criticizes US decision to include Cyprus in International Military Education and Training Program

Turkey on Wednesday criticized the United States for including the Republic of Cyprus in the International Military Education and Training Program.

“Steps disregarding the balance between the two sides will not help create an atmosphere of trust on the Island, and ensure peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean”, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

The statement said the United States had included the Republic of Cyprus in the 2020 International Military Education and Training Program.

Turkey supports the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” approach to this issue, the statement said.

“As we have repeatedly emphasized 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”, the statement added.

Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States has included the Republic of Cyprus in the International Program for Military Education and Training for 2020.

“The State Department intends to provide funding for International Military Training and Training in this country, depending on the credits of Congress and our notification to Congress”, Pompeo told a news conference in Washington.

“This is part of our efforts to strengthen relations with key regional partners in promoting stability in the Eastern Mediterranean”, he added./ibna