Republic of Cyprus
Area: 9,251 sq. km. (3,572 sq. mi.); about the size of Connecticut.
Cities: Capital--Nicosia (pop. 197,800, 2000 fig.). Other cities--Limassol, Larnaca, Famagusta, Paphos, Kyrenia, Morphou.
Terrain: Central plain with mountain ranges to the north and south.
Climate: Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Cypriot(s).
Population (2007 est.): government-controlled area 788,000; area administered by Turkish Cypriots 260,819.
Annual population growth rate (2007 est.) government-controlled area: 1.2%; area administered by Turkish Cypriots: 1.3%
Ethnic groups (1960 census): Greek (77%), Turkish (18%), Armenian and other (4%).
Religions: Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Maronite, Roman Catholic, Armenian Orthodox.
Languages: Greek, Turkish, English.
Education: Years compulsory--6 in elementary; 3 in high school. Attendance--almost 100%. Literacy--about 99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--7.04/1,000. Life expectancy--77 yrs.; males 75 yrs.; females 80 years.
Work force: Government-controlled area (2007), 379,900: agriculture and mining—8.5%; industry and construction—20.5%; and services—71.0%. Turkish Cypriot-administered area (2006), 91,815: agriculture—11.0%; industry and construction—38.3%; and services—72.2%.
Independence: August 16, 1960.
Constitution: August 16, 1960.
Branches: Executive--President elected to 5-yr. term. Legislative--unicameral House of Representatives, members elected to 5-yr. terms. Judicial--Supreme Court; six district courts.
Administrative subdivisions: Six.
Major Political parties: Greek Cypriots--Progressive Party of Working People or Anorthotikon Komma Ergazomenou Laou--AKEL (communist); Democratic Party or Dimokratikon Komma--DIKO (center-right); Democratic Rally or Dimokratikos Synagermos--DISY (right); Movement for Social Democracy or Eleftheron Dimokratikon--EDEK (socialist); United Democrats or Enomeni Dimokrates--ED (center-left). Turkish Cypriots--National Unity Party or Ulusal Birlik Partisi--UBP (right); Democrat Party or Demokrat Partisi--DP (center-right); Republican Turkish Party or Cumhuriyetci Turk Partisi--CTP (center-left); Freedom and Reform Party or Free Party--Ozgurluk ve Reform Partisi--OP (center-right);. Communal Democracy Party or Toplumcu Demokrasi Partisi--TDP.
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.
GDP (2007): $20.98 billion.
Annual GDP real growth rate (2007): government-controlled area: 4.2%.
Per capita GDP income: Greek Cypriots (2007)--$26,652; Turkish Cypriots (2007)--$13,133.
Agriculture and natural resources (2007): 3.1% of GDP. Products--potatoes and other vegetables, citrus fruits, olives, grapes, wheat, carob seeds. Resources--pyrites, copper, asbestos, gypsum, lumber, salt, marble, clay, earth pigment.
Industry and construction (2007): 18.6% of GDP. Types--mining, cement, construction, utilities, manufacturing, chemicals, non-electric machinery, textiles, footwear, food, beverages, tobacco.
Services and tourism (2007): 78.3% of GDP. Trade, restaurants, and hotels 19.6%; transport 7.8%; finance, real estate, and business 26.6%; government, education, and health 19.9%; and community and other services 4.5%.
Trade (2007): Exports--$1,494 billion: citrus, grapes, wine, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and footwear. Major markets--EU (especially the U.K. and Greece), Middle East, Russia. Imports--$7,274 billion: consumer goods, raw materials for industry, petroleum and lubricants, food and feed grains. Major suppliers--Greece, Italy, Germany, U.K. (U.S. trade surplus--for 2007: $100.5 million.)
* Section refers to the government-controlled area unless otherwise specified.
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the government-controlled two-thirds of the island and the remaining one-third of the island, which is administered by Turkish Cypriots. Greek and Turkish Cypriots share many customs but maintain distinct identities based on religion, language, and close ties with their respective "motherlands." Greek is predominantly spoken in the south, Turkish in the north. English is widely used. Cyprus has a well-developed system of primary and secondary education. The majority of Cypriots earn their higher education at Greek, Turkish, British, and other European or American universities. Both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities have developed private colleges and state-supported universities.
Human settlement on Cyprus stretches back nearly eight millennia and by 3700 BC, the island was a crossroads between East and West. The island fell successively under Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, and Roman domination. For 800 years, beginning in 364 AD, Cyprus was ruled by Byzantium. After brief possession by King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) of England during the Crusades, the island came under Frankish control in the late 12th century. It was ceded to the Venetian Republic in 1489 and conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1571. The Ottomans applied the millet system to Cyprus, which allowed religious authorities to govern their own non-Muslim minorities. This system reinforced the position of the Orthodox Church and the cohesion of the ethnic Greek population. Most of the Turks who settled on the island during the three centuries of Ottoman rule remained when control of Cyprus--although not sovereignty--was ceded to Great Britain in 1878. Many left for Turkey during the 1920s, however. The island was annexed formally by the United Kingdom in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I and became a crown colony in 1925.
Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom and established a constitutional republic in 1960, after an anti-British campaign by the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organization of Cypriot Fighters), a guerrilla group that desired political union, or enosis, with Greece. Archbishop Makarios, a charismatic religious and political leader, was elected president.
Shortly after the founding of the republic, serious differences arose between the two communities about the implementation and interpretation of the constitution. The Greek Cypriots argued that the complex mechanisms introduced to protect Turkish Cypriot interests were obstacles to efficient government. In November 1963, President Makarios advanced a series of constitutional amendments designed to eliminate some of these special provisions. The Turkish Cypriots opposed such changes. The confrontation prompted widespread intercommunal fighting in December 1963, after which Turkish Cypriots ceased to participate in the government. Following the outbreak of intercommunal violence, many Turkish Cypriots (and some Greek Cypriots) living in mixed villages began to move into enclaved villages or elsewhere. UN peacekeepers were deployed on the island in 1964. Following another outbreak of intercommunal violence in 1967-68, a Turkish Cypriot provisional administration was formed.
In July 1974, the military junta in Athens sponsored a coup led by extremist Greek Cypriots against the government of President Makarios, citing his alleged pro-communist leanings and his perceived abandonment of enosis. Turkey, citing the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, intervened militarily to protect Turkish Cypriots.
In a two-stage offensive, Turkish troops took control of 38% of the island. Almost all Greek Cypriots fled south while almost all Turkish Cypriots fled north. Since the events of 1974, UN peacekeeping forces have maintained a buffer zone between the two sides. Except for occasional demonstrations or infrequent incidents between soldiers in the buffer zone, the island was free of violent conflict from 1974 until August 1996, when violent clashes led to the death of two demonstrators and escalated tension. The situation has been quiet since 1996.
Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the government-controlled two-thirds of the island and the Turkish Cypriot-administered one-third. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has continued to be the only internationally recognized authority; in practice, its authority extends only to the government-controlled area.
The 1960 Cypriot constitution provided for a presidential system of government with independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as a complex system of checks and balances, including a weighted power-sharing ratio designed to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. The executive, for example, was headed by a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice president, elected by their respective communities for 5-year terms, and each possessing a right of veto over certain types of legislation and executive decisions. The Greek Cypriot-controlled Republic of Cyprus retains most elements of the presidential system of government expressed in the constitution, although it has cited the Turkish Cypriots' "withdrawal from government" and the "law of necessity" to enact structural changes that allow "effective governance."
Following the 1974 hostilities, the Turkish Cypriots set up their own institutions in the area they administered with an elected "president" and a "prime minister" responsible to the “National Assembly” exercising joint executive powers. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriots declared an independent "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"). The United States does not recognize the "TRNC," nor does any country other than Turkey.
Historically, none of the Greek Cypriot parties has been able to elect a president by itself or dominate the 56-seat House of Representatives. The 165,000 Greek Cypriot refugees from the area now administered by Turkish Cypriots are a potent political force, along with the independent Orthodox Church of Cyprus, which has some influence in secular as well as religious matters. In February 2008, Demetris Christofias defeated incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos and challenger Ioannis Kassoulides in two rounds of voting to become the first AKEL president of the Republic of Cyprus. All major parties hold seats in the National Council, the top advisory board to the president on Cyprus settlement issues.
Parliamentary elections last took place in May 2006. AKEL emerged the leading party, garnering 31% of votes cast, with DISY a close second with 30%; each is represented in parliament by 18 MPs. Other parties represented in parliament include DIKO (11 seats), EDEK (5), EUROKO (3) and the Greens (1).
Mehmet Ali Talat was elected in April 2005 as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community (as the so-called "President of the TRNC"), replacing long-time nationalist leader Rauf Denktash. Talat's political rise was due largely to his support of the UN Settlement Plan for Cyprus (the "Annan Plan"), which Rauf Denktash opposed, but which was supported by a majority of Turkish Cypriots in a 2004 referendum. Talat's political allies in the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) currently hold 25 of the 50 seats in the "TRNC National Assembly," and have had to establish a series of coalitions, the latest one formed with the Freedom and Reform Party (Free Party, OP), with CTP leader Soyer as "PM" and OP party leader Turgay Avci as "Deputy Prime Minister" and "Foreign Minister."
Attempts To Achieve a Cyprus Settlement
The first UN-sponsored negotiations to develop institutional arrangements acceptable to both communities began in 1968; several sets of negotiations and other initiatives followed. Turkish Cypriots focus on bizonality, security guarantees, and political equality between the two communities. Greek Cypriots emphasize the rights of movement, property, settlement, and the return of territory. Turkish Cypriots favor a loose grouping of two nearly autonomous societies living side by side with limited contact. Greek Cypriots envision a more integrated structure.
The last major UN-led effort to deliver a Cyprus solution commenced in January 2002 with Secretary General Kofi Annan orchestrating direct talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot community leaders. Nine months later Annan released a comprehensive settlement proposal, informally called "the Annan Plan". Intensive efforts were made to gain both sides' support for the plan prior to the December 2002 European Union (EU) Summit in Copenhagen, where member states would determine the island's future status vis-à-vis the union. Neither side agreed to the Annan Plan before the summit.
UN-sponsored talks continued following Copenhagen. In February 2003, Tassos Papadopoulos was elected president of the Republic of Cyprus. A year later, President Papadopoulos and then-Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash resumed negotiations on the Annan Plan. A comprehensive settlement package was put to both sides in simultaneous referenda on April 24, 2004. Sixty-five percent of Turkish Cypriots endorsed the Annan Plan, but a larger majority of Greek Cypriots (76%) voted "no." The Secretary General later suspended his Good Offices Mission. Nonetheless, the EU invited the Republic of Cyprus (with Cyprus still divided) to join; the Republic of Cyprus became a full member on May 1, 2004, with the EU's acquis communautaire suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. In 2008, the EU started work on harmonization of T/C “laws” and practices with twelve chapters of the aquis in the event of a solution and reunification.
For two years following the Annan Plan referenda, the island saw little progress toward reunification. However, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, in his July 2006 visit to Cyprus, succeeded in securing commitment from both sides to commence exploratory talks, and on July 8, community leaders President Papadopoulos and Mr. Talat and met for the first time since 2004. They agreed to a UN-brokered negotiating framework that envisioned the establishment of technical committees to tackle everyday life issues and expert working groups to discuss substantive matters. Following his election in February 2008, President Demetris Christofias pledged to renew settlement efforts through UN auspices. President Christofias met Mr. Talat on March 21 to discuss the formation of 13 working groups and technical committees which were to meet for a fixed period prior to the commencement of full-fledged negotiations. The committees met through July and on July 25 the two leaders announced the decision to commence negotiations beginning in September. The talks began on September 3 with the focus on governance and power sharing. As of October 2008, negotiations are ongoing.
Bi-Communal Contact, Crossing Procedures
In April 2003, then-leader of the Turkish Cypriots Denktash relaxed many restrictions on individuals crossing between the two communities leading to relatively unimpeded bi-communal contact for the first time since 1974. Since the relaxation, there have been nearly 12,000,000 buffer zone crossings in both directions. Under the current regulations, Greek Cypriots must present identity documents to cross to the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, something many are reluctant to do. They are able to drive their personal vehicles in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, provided they first obtain a policy from a Turkish Cypriot insurance provider. Turkish Cypriots are permitted to cross into the government-controlled area upon presentation of a Turkish Cypriot ID card or other identity documentation acceptable to Republic of Cyprus authorities. They must also obtain car insurance from an insurer in the government-controlled area to drive their personal vehicles there.
Until recently, visitors choosing to arrive at non-designated airports and seaports in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots were not allowed to cross the United Nations-patrolled "green line" to the government-controlled area. In June of 2004, however, Cypriot authorities implemented new EU-related crossing regulations that allowed Americans (and citizens of most other countries) to cross freely regardless of their port of entry into Cyprus. Visitors arriving in the government-controlled area are normally able to cross the green line without hindrance, although on occasion difficulties are encountered at both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot checkpoints. The Government of Cyprus considers ports in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots to be illegal. Policy and procedures regarding such travel are subject to change. More information on current procedures may be obtained at the UN "Buffer Zone" Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia or by referral to the U.S. consular information sheet on Cyprus at: http://www.travel.state.gov/.
Principal Government Officials
President of the Republic--Demetris Christofias
Foreign Minister--Markos Kyprianou
Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism--Antonis Paschalades
Minister of Finance--Charilaos Stavrakis
Minister of Interior--Neoclis Sylikiotis
Minister of Defense--Costas Papacostas
Minister of Communications and Works--Maria Nicos Nicolaides
Minister of Justice and Public Order--Kypros Chrysostomides
Minister of Health--Christos Patsalides
Ambassador to the United States--Andreas Kakouris
Permanent Representative to the United Nations—Minas Hadjimichael
Cyprus maintains an embassy in the United States at 2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-462-5772) and a Consulate General in New York City. Cyprus also maintains a trade center at 13 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016 (tel. 212-686-6016). Turkish Cypriots maintain offices in Washington (tel. 202-887-6198) and at the Republic of Turkey's Mission to the United Nations.
Cyprus has an open, free-market, services-based economy with some light manufacturing. Cyprus' accession as a full member to the European Union as of May 1, 2004, has been an important milestone in its recent economic development. The Cypriots are among the most prosperous people in the Mediterranean region. Internationally, Cyprus promotes its geographical location as a "bridge" between three continents, along with its educated English-speaking population, moderate local costs, good airline connections, and telecommunications.
In the past 20 years, the economy has shifted from agriculture to light manufacturing and services. Currently, agriculture makes up only 3.1% of the GDP and employs 8.5% of the labor force. Industry and construction contribute 18.6% and employ 20.5% of the labor force. The services sector, including tourism, contributes 78.3% to the GDP and employs 71.0% of the labor force. In recent years, the services sector, and financial services in particular, have provided the main impetus for growth, while the traditional growth sector, tourism, has leveled off. Manufactured goods account for 58.5% of domestic exports, while potatoes and citrus constitute the principal export crops. The island has few proven natural resources. Trade is vital to the Cypriot economy and most goods are imported. The trade deficit increased in 2007, reaching $5.8 billion. Cyprus must import fuels, food, most raw materials, heavy machinery, and transportation equipment. More than 67% of its imports come from the European Union, particularly Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom, while 1.2% come from the United States
GNP growth rates have gradually begun to decline as the Cypriot economy has matured over the years. The average rate of growth went from 6.1% in the 1980s, to 4.4% in the 1990s to 3.6% from 2000 to 2007. In the last couple of years (2006 and 2007) growth has remained fairly strong at around 3.8% and 4.2%, respectively and is forecast to remain so for 2008, albeit the financial turmoil of the last months has caused estimates of 2008 growth to be reduced to 3% . Inflation had remained in check up until 2007 (less than 2.5%) but it surged to around 4.8% in 2008. Cyprus has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the EU27 at around 3.9%. Public finances have also improved considerably in recent years. The fiscal deficit, which had peaked at 6.3% of GDP in 2003, was gradually eliminated by 2006. A fiscal surplus of 3.3% of GDP took its place in 2007, likely to be followed by a 1.0% surplus in 2008. Concurrently, the public debt declined from 65.2% in 2006, to around 60% of GDP in 2007, and is forecast to drop further to 49% in 2008.
These developments helped pave the way for the Euro, which replaced the Cyprus Pound as Cyprus' national currency as of January 1, 2008. Joining the Eurozone was a major accomplishment for the Cypriot economy, resulting in such benefits as a higher degree of price stability, lower interest rates, reduction of currency conversion costs and exchange rate risk, and increased competition through greater price transparency. The final conversion exchange rate between the Cypriot pound and the Euro was one Euro per 0.585274 Cyprus pounds. The following website offers additional information on the mechanics of Cyprus's adoption of the Euro: http://www.euro.cy/
In the run-up to EU accession (May 1, 2004), Cyprus dismantled most investment restrictions, attracting increased flows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), particularly from the EU. Cyprus has good business and financial services, modern telecommunications, an educated labor force, good airline connections, a sound legal system, and a low crime rate. Cyprus' geographic location, tax incentives and modern infrastructure also make it a natural hub for companies looking to do business with the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the European Union, and North Africa. As a result, Cyprus has developed into an important regional and international business center. According to the latest United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) "World Investment Report 2008," Cyprus ranks among the world's leading countries per capita in terms of attracting FDI. Non-EU investors (both natural and legal persons) may now invest freely in Cyprus in most sectors, either directly or indirectly (including all types of portfolio investment in the Cyprus Stock Exchange). The only exceptions concern primarily the acquisition of property and, to a lesser extent, restrictions on investment in the sectors of tertiary education, banking, and mass media.
In 2007, the inflow of FDI reached $2.17 billion, compared with $1.82 billion in 2006. The geographic origin of new investment in 2007 was primarily the EU, with 61.0% of the total, followed by non-EU countries in Europe with 34.4%. In terms of sectoral allocation, incoming FDI in 2007 went to the following sectors: manufacturing 1%; construction 3.0%; trade and repairs 24.9%; transport and communication 3.7%; financial intermediation 14.8%; real estate and business activities 47.6%; and other services 4.6%.
The flow of U.S. investment in Cyprus reached $37.4 million in 2007 or 1.7% of Cyprus' total inward FDI. The stock of U.S. investment in the island was $338.4 million at the end of 2007. Projects involving U.S. investment in recent years have included a well-known U.S. coffee retailing franchise, a university, an information technology firm, an equestrian center, a hair products manufacturing unit, a firm trading in health and natural foodstuffs, and a financial services company. U.S. investors may benefit from Cyprus’s abolition of EU-origin investment restrictions, provided they operate through EU subsidiaries.
Additional information on foreign direct investment can be obtained from the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency website: http://www.cipa.org.cy.
European Union (EU)
Along with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, the Republic of Cyprus entered the EU on May 1, 2004. The EU acquis communautaire is suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots pending a Cyprus settlement.
Trade Between Cyprus and the United States
The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia sponsors a popular pavilion for American products at the annual Cyprus International State Fair and organizes other events to promote U.S. products throughout the year. The U.S. runs a significant trade surplus with Cyprus, on the order of $100.5 million in 2007 (exports of $109.4 million versus imports of $8.9 million--according to Republic of Cyprus statistics).
Principal U.S. goods exports to Cyprus include office machines and data processing equipment; electrical appliances; optical, measuring, and medical equipment; passenger cars; and edible fruit and nuts. Principal U.S. imports from Cyprus consist of dairy products, fresh fish, and mineral substances.
Bilateral business ties also encompass a healthy exchange in services. In 2007, the inflow of services (from the United States to Cyprus) was $749.1 million, against an outflow (from Cyprus to the United States) of $275.7 million, according to Republic of Cyprus statistics.
Turkish Cypriot Economy
The economy of the Turkish Cypriot-administered area is dominated by the services sector including the public sector, trade, tourism and education, with smaller agriculture and light manufacturing sectors. The economy operates on a free-market basis, although it continues to be handicapped by the political isolation of Turkish Cypriots, the lack of private and public investment, high freight costs, and shortages of skilled labor. Despite these constraints, the Turkish Cypriot economy turned in an impressive performance from 2003 to 2006, with estimated growth rates of 13.2% in 2006, 13.5% in 2005, 15.4% in 2004, and 11.4% in 2003. This pattern was overturned in 2007, when the economy reportedly shrank by 2.5%. Negative growth is expected again in 2008 as the construction sector continued to contract and tourism from countries other than Turkey declined The economy in recent years has been fuelled by the relative stability of the Turkish Lira, the employment of around 6,000 Turkish Cypriots in the Greek Cypriot economy where wages are significantly higher, and by a boom in the education and construction sectors. In 2007, the services sector accounted for 78.5% of GDP, industry and construction accounted for 14.6% of GDP, and agriculture 7.0%, according to Turkish Cypriot statistics. The partial lifting of travel restrictions between the two parts of the island in April 2003 has allowed movement of persons--over 12 million crossings to date--between the two parts of the island with no significant interethnic incidents.
Turkey remains, by far, the main trading partner of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, supplying 65% of imports and absorbing around 50% of exports. In a landmark case, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on July 5, 1994 against the British practice of importing produce from the area based on certificates of origin and phytosanitary certificates granted by "TRNC" authorities. The ECJ decision resulted in a considerable decrease of Turkish Cypriot exports to the EU--from $36.4 million (or 66.7% of total Turkish Cypriot exports) in 1993 to $12.9 million in 2006 (or 19% of total exports). In August 2004, new EU rules allowed goods produced or substantially transformed in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots to be sold duty-free to consumers in the government-controlled area and through that area to the rest of the EU. To qualify, goods must also meet EU sanitary/phytosanitary requirements. Animal products are excluded from this arrangement. In May 2005, Turkish Cypriot authorities adopted a new regulation "mirroring" the EU rules and allowing certain goods produced in the government-controlled areas to be sold in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. (However, suppliers cannot legally transport imported products over the green line in either direction.) Despite these efforts, direct trade between the two communities remains limited.
The EU continues to be the second-largest trading partner of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, with a 17.9% share of total imports and 18.9% share of total exports. Total imports increased to $1.3 billion in 2006, while total exports remained at $68 million. Imports from the U.S. reached $9.8 million in 2006, while exports to the U.S. were less than $100,000.
Assistance from Turkey is crucial to the Turkish Cypriot economy. Under the latest economic protocol (signed in 2006), Turkey undertakes to provide Turkish Cypriots financial assistance totaling 1.875 billion New Turkish Lira (YTL--roughly $1.34 billion) over a three-year period (600 million YTL in 2007, 625 million YTL in 2008 and 650 million YTL in 2009). Turkey also provides millions of dollars annually in the form of low-interest loans to mostly Turkish entrepreneurs in support of export-oriented industrial production and tourism. Total stock Turkish assistance to Turkish Cypriots since 1974 is estimated to have exceeded $4 billion.
The Republic of Cyprus aligns itself with European positions within the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. Cyprus has long identified with the West in its cultural affinities and trade patterns, and maintains close relations with Greece. Since 1974, the foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus has sought the withdrawal of Turkish forces and the most favorable constitutional and territorial settlement possible. This campaign has been pursued primarily through international forums such as the United Nations. (See Political Conditions.) Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus.
The Republic of Cyprus enjoys close relations with many countries, including Greece, Russia, China, France, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries in the region. Cyprus is a member of the United Nations and most of its agencies, as well as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Council of Europe and the British Commonwealth. In addition, the government has signed the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Agreement (MIGA).
The United States regards the status quo on Cyprus as unacceptable. Successive administrations have viewed UN-led inter-communal negotiations as the best means to achieve a fair and permanent settlement.
The United States is working closely with Cyprus in the war on terrorism. A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which has been in force since September 18, 2002, facilitates bilateral cooperation. Cyprus also signed a Proliferation Security Initiative Ship Boarding Agreement with the United States on July 25, 2005, which reinforces bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation.
The United States has channeled more than $300 million in assistance to the two communities since the mid-1970s. The United States now provides approximately $15 million annually to reduce tensions and promote peace and cooperation between the two communities. In 2004, following the Annan Plan process, the U.S. appropriated an additional $30.5 million to assist economic development in the Turkish Cypriot community, aiming to reduce the economic costs of any future settlement.
Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Frank C. Urbancic
Deputy Chief of Mission--Jonathan R. Cohen
Consular Officer--Randy Carlino
Defense Attaché--COL William B. Langan
Economic/Commercial Officer--James Carouso
Management Officer--Warren Hadley
Political Officer--Gregory Macris
Public Affairs Officer--James R. Ellickson-Brown
The U.S. Embassy in Cyprus is located at the corner of Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets in Engomi, Nicosia; mailing address: PO Box 24536, Nicosia, Cyprus; U.S. mailing address: PSC 815, FPO-AE 09836-0001. Tel.  22 39 39 39; telex: 4160 AMEMY CY; fax:  22 78 09 44; Consular fax:  22 77 68 41.