Sending Office: Honorable David N. Cicilline
Sent By:



Endorsed by: Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC); International Coordinating Committee- Justice for Cyprus; American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Current Cosponsors: Bilirakis, Deutch, Carolyn Maloney, Pallone,
Roskam, Ros-Lehtinen, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Schneider, Titus


Dear Colleague,

I ask that you join me as an original cosponsor of legislation to repeal the existing U.S. arms embargo against the Republic of Cyprus.  Cyprus is a critical and strategic U.S. partner in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and ensuring their security will
help safeguard American interests, strengthen our alliances, and preserve our national security.

In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and the island was divided into the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus and the northern 37 percent of the island occupied by Turkey.   The northern area of Cyprus, which is not recognized by any other country except
Turkey, is occupied by more than 30,000 Turkish troops and settlers from mainland Turkey.  Prior to the invasion, Greek and Turkish Cypriots lived together in a unified Cyprus.

In 1987, the U.S. placed restrictions on the transfer of arms and defensive articles to Cyprus in an attempt to encourage reunification efforts and to avoid an arms race on the island.  Instead, the arms embargo has had no impact on the reunification process
and has unnecessarily handicapped one of our strongest allies in the Eastern Mediterranean. Meanwhile, Turkey has found a way to circumvent the arms embargo by placing tens of thousands of Turkish troops armed with American weapons in the northern region of
Cyprus.  The arms embargo has forced the Republic of Cyprus to purchase weapons from nations hostile to American interests like Russia.

The Republic of Cyprus is a critical and strategic partner of the United States.  At the beginning of the second Gulf War, Cyprus allowed U.S. warplanes to land and refuel after Turkey refused to grant the U.S permission to land in Turkey.  As a member of
the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Cyprus has been key partner in combating global terrorism.  U.S. energy exploration in Cyprus has strengthened economic ties between our two countries, and provided key alternatives to Russian energy to U.S. allies.

This legislation would repeal the provisions which prohibit the export and transfer of arms to the Republic of Cyprus.  It would strengthen the security of a key partner in the region, enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Cyprus, and provide increased
security to our European partners.  By ensuring a strong international coalition, the U.S. would be able to better combat the threat posed by the Islamic State, and guard against the increased influence of our nation’s adversaries in the region.

If you would like to become an original cosponsor, or have any additional questions, please contact Matt McGinn (



David N. Cicilline

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Trade

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0