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Diplomacy in Action

Cyprus (07/05)


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For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.

Flag of Cyprus is white with a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the name Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper) above two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flag; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities.

PROFILE

OFFICIAL NAME:
Republic of Cyprus

Geography
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.

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Cypriot(s).
Population (2004 est.): government-controlled area: 749,200; area administered by Turkish Cypriots 218,000.
Annual growth rate (2004): 2.3%.
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--9/1,000. Life expectancy--73 yrs. males; 78 yrs. females.
Work force: Government-controlled area (2004), 333,100: agriculture and mining--5.3%; manufacturing and utilities--12.0%; construction--10.7%; trade, hotels, and restaurants--27.1%; transport--5.3%; finance, real estate, and business--11.9%; government, education, and health--18.4%; community and other services--9.3%. Turkish Cypriot-administered area (2003), 95,000: agriculture--14.5%; manufacturing and utilities--9.3%; construction--19.7%; trade, and tourism--11.2%; transport and communication--8.7%; finance--2.5%; business and personal services--15.3%; public services--18.8%.

Government
Type: Republic.
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.
Political parties: Greek Cypriot Community--Democratic Rally (right); Democratic Party (center-right); AKEL (communist); KISOS (socialist); United Democrats (center-left). Turkish Cypriot Community--National Unity Party (right); Democrat Party (center-right); Republican Turkish Party (left); Peace and Democracy Movement (center-left); Communal Liberation Party (center-left); National Justice Party (ultra-nationalist); New Party (Turkish immigrant party); United Cyprus Party (left).
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.

Economy*
GDP (2004): $15.4 billion.
Annual real growth rate (2004): 3.6%.
Per capita GDP income (2004): Greek Cypriots--$20,961; Turkish Cypriots--about $7,350.
Agriculture and natural resources (4.4% 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 (19.3% of GDP): Types--mining, cement, construction, utilities, manufacturing, chemicals, non-electric machinery, textiles, footwear, food, beverages, tobacco.
Services and tourism (76.2% of GDP): Trade, restaurants, and hotels 20.4%; transport 10.9%; finance, real estate, and business 23.8%; government, education, and health 16.1%; and community and other services 4.9%.
Trade (2004): Exports--$1.2 billion: citrus, grapes, wine, potatoes, pharmaceuticals, clothing, footwear. Major markets--EU (especially the U.K. and Greece), Middle East, Russia. Imports--$5.8 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 2004: $112.0 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 Turkish and Greek communities have developed private colleges and state-supported universities.

Cypriot culture is among the oldest in the Mediterranean. By 3700 BC, the island was well inhabited, 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 3 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.

GOVERNMENT
Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the government-controlled two-thirds of the island and the Turkish Cypriot one-third. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has continued as the internationally recognized authority; in practice, its authority extends only to the government-controlled areas.

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.

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"). Only Turkey recognizes the "TRNC".

POLITICAL CONDITIONS
In February 2003, Greek Cypriots elected Tassos Papadopoulos, leader of the center right Democratic Party, as president of the Republic of Cyprus. President Papadopoulos was supported by a broad coalition of parties ranging from his own Democratic Party to communist AKEL. 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 temporal as well as ecclesiastical matters.

"TRNC President" Mehmet Ali Talat was elected in April 2005, 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 pro-settlement, pro-EU political allies in the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) hold 24 of the 50 seats in the "TRNC National Assembly." In March 2005, the CTP agreed to form a coalition "government" with the 5-seat Democrat Party (DP) under the leadership of CTP "Prime Minister" Ferdi Sabit Soyer and DP "Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister" Serdar Denktash.

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.

Direct talks began in January 2002 between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot community leaders under the auspices of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan.

In November 2002, Secretary General Annan released a comprehensive plan for the resolution of the Cyprus issue. This plan was revised in early December. In the lead up to the December 2002 EU Copenhagen Summit, intensive efforts were made to gain both sides' signatures to the document prior to a decision on the island's EU membership. Neither side agreed to sign. The EU invited the Republic of Cyprus to join on December 16.

Following the Copenhagen Summit, the UN continued dialogue with the two sides with the goal of reaching a settlement prior to Cyprus's signature of the EU accession treaty on April 16, 2003. A third version of the Annan plan was put to the parties in February 2003. That same month the Secretary General again visited the island and asked that both leaders agree to put the plan to referendum in their respective communities. Also in February 2003, Tassos Papadopoulos was elected as the fifth president of the Republic of Cyprus. On March 10, 2003, this phase of talks collapsed in The Hague when the then-leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Rauf Denktash, told the Secretary General he would not put the Annan plan to referendum.

On April 23, 2003, Mr. Denktash relaxed many restrictions on individuals crossing between the two communities, including abolishing all crossing fees. Since then, the relaxed crossing procedures have led to relatively unimpeded bicommunal contact for the first time since 1974. Since April 2003 there have been over 7,000,000 buffer zone crossings in both directions. Greek Cypriots are currently required to present identity documents at the checkpoints along the buffer zone, something many are reluctant to do. Greek Cypriots are permitted to drive their personal vehicles in the Turkish Cypriot community, provided they first obtain a policy from an insurance provider in the north. Turkish Cypriots are permitted to cross into the government-controlled area upon presentation of a Turkish Cypriot ID card. Turkish Cypriots must also obtain car insurance from an insurer in the south to drive their personal vehicles in the government-controlled area.

Until recently, visitors choosing to arrive at non-designated airports and seaports in the north were not allowed to cross the United Nations-patrolled "green line" to the government-controlled areas in the south. 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 south 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. 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.

In February 2004, President Papadopoulos and Rauf Denktash accepted the Secretary General's invitation to resume negotiations on a settlement on the basis of the Annan plan. After a meeting with the Secretary General in New York, talks began in Cyprus on February 19. The two community leaders met nearly every day for negotiations facilitated by the Secretary General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro De Soto. In addition, numerous technical committees and subcommittees met in parallel in an effort to resolve outstanding issues and complete the legislative framework. Beginning on March 24, the talks moved to Burgenstock, Switzerland with the participation of the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey. Negotiations concluded on March 31, and the Secretary General presented the two sides with a final settlement package.

Most Turkish Cypriot and Turkish leaders supported the agreement, but most Greek Cypriot leaders, including President Papadopoulos, urged the Greek Cypriot public to reject the settlement. On April 24, after a three-week campaign marked by accusations that the government of Cyprus was unfairly manipulating public opinion, Cypriots on both sides of the Green Line went to the polls in parallel and simultaneous referenda. Turkish Cypriots voted by a large majority (65% "yes" to 35% "no") to accept the solution. Greek Cypriots, however, voted by an even larger margin (76% "no" to 24% "yes") to reject it.

Cyprus entered the European Union on May 1, 2004 as a divided island. The Secretary General's Good Offices Mission is suspended.

Principal Government Officials
President of the Republic--Tassos Papadopoulos
Foreign Minister--George Iacovou
Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism--Yiorgos Lillikas
Minister of Finance--Iacovos Keravnos
Minister of Interior--Andreas Christou
Minister of Communications and Works--Haris Thrasou
Minister of Justice and Public Order--Doros Theodorou
Ambassador to the United States--Euripides L. Evriviades
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Andreas Mavroyiannis

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.

ECONOMY*
Cyprus has an open, free-market, services-based economy with some light manufacturing. Cyprus's 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 West and East, 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. The service sector, including tourism, contributes 76.2% to the GDP and employs 72.0% of the labor force. Industry and construction contribute 19.3% and employ 22.7% of labor. Manufactured goods account for approximately 58.0% of domestic exports. Agriculture and mining is responsible for 4.4% of GDP and 5.3% of the labor force. Potatoes and citrus are the principal export crops.

Following a classical pattern, growth rates have gradually begun to decline as the Cypriot economy has matured over the years. The average rate of growth has gone from 6.1% in the 1980s, to 4.4% in the 1990s to 3.4% from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, growth picked up to 3.6%, from 1.9% in 2003. . Unemployment has been fairly constant at 3.6% in 2004, while inflation has declined to 2.3% in 2004 from 4.1% the year before. As in recent years, the services sectors, and tourism in particular, provided the main impetus for growth.

Trade is vital to the Cypriot economy: the island is not self-sufficient in food, and has few natural resources. The trade deficit increased by 18.4% in 2004, reaching $4.6 billion.

Cyprus must import fuels, most raw materials, heavy machinery, and transportation equipment. More than 50% of its trade is with the European Union, particularly with the United Kingdom.

The economic outlook remains bright in 2005: growth is expected to remain strong (around 4.0%), with low unemployment (less than 4.0%), and low inflation (around 2.3%). Equally important, public finances are expected to continue improving, with the fiscal deficit forecast to decline to 2.9% of GDP in 2005, from 4.2% in 2004, and 6.3% in 2003.

Investment Climate
Cyprus, a full EU member since May 1, 2004, has a liberal climate for investments. On October 1, 2004, the Government of Cyprus lifted most investment restrictions concerning non-EU residents, completing earlier reforms (introduced in January 2000) concerning EU investors. Through this decision, the Government of Cyprus has lifted most capital restrictions and limits on foreign equity participation/ownership, thereby granting national treatment to foreign investors. 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 and mass media.

The inflow of approved foreign direct investment reached $1.22 billion in 2004, compared with $1.00 billion in 2003, and $1.06 billion in 2002. The sectoral allocation of this investment in 2003 was as follows: manufacturing 0.8%; construction 0.8%; trading 14.6%; hotels and restaurants 0.2%; transport and communications 11.1%; financial intermediation 24.7%; real estate and business 41.0%, other services 6.7%. In terms of geographical origin, the majority of new investments in 2003 (58.1% of total value) originated from the EU; 31.1% originated from other European countries; 4.6% from the United States of America; and the remaining 6.2% from various other countries.

The gradual liberalization of foreign direct investment regulations has made Cyprus progressively a more attractive destination for U.S. investors in recent years. Traditionally, U.S. direct investment in Cyprus consisted of relatively minor projects, mostly by Greek-Cypriot expatriates. New investment projects with U.S. involvement in 2003-2004 included a well-known U.S. coffee retailing franchise, an equestrian center, a hair products manufacturing unit, a firm trading in health and natural foodstuffs, and a financial services company. It should also be noted that the abolition of restrictions on investment originating from the EU allows U.S. investors to benefit as well, provided they work through subsidiaries in 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's 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.

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's acquis communautaire is suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots pending a settlement of the island's division.

Export Opportunities
Best prospects for U.S. firms generally lie in services, high technology sectors, such as computer equipment and data processing services, financial services, environmental protection technology, medical and telecommunications equipment, and tourism development projects. Moreover, alternative energy sources and the energy sector in general are attracting an increasing amount of attention, while the possible existence of natural gas and petroleum reserves off the southern and eastern coast of Cyprus opens up new prospects. Finally, the island's private sector has a growing appetite for U.S.-made office machines, computer software and data processing equipment, while U.S. food franchises and apparel licensors have found fertile ground for expansion in Cyprus in recent years.

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, of the order of $112.0 million in 2004 (exports of $131.2 million versus imports of $19.2 million--according to Government of Cyprus Statistics).

Principal U.S. exports to Cyprus include office machines and data processing equipment, electrical equipment, tobacco and cigarettes, passenger cars, and wheat. Principal U.S. imports from Cyprus consist of Portland cement, clothing, hunting rifle cartridges, canvas, dairy products, and fresh fish.

Bilateral business ties also encompass a healthy exchange in services. In 2004, the inflow of services (from the United States to Cyprus) was $585.9 million, against an outflow (from Cyprus to the United States) of $346.7 million, according to Government 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 governmental investment, high freight costs, and shortages of skilled labor. Despite these constraints, the Turkish Cypriot economy turned in an impressive performance over the past two years, with growth rates of 9.6% in 2004 and 11.4% in 2003. Over the same period, per capita income almost doubled reaching $7,350 at the end of 2004, compared with $4,409 in 2002. This growth has been buoyed by the relative stability of the Turkish Lira, the employment of over 5,000 Turkish Cypriots in the Greek Cypriot economy where wages are significantly higher, and by a boom in the education and construction sectors. In 2003, the services sector accounted for nearly two thirds of GDP, industry accounted for 11.6% of GDP, agriculture 10.6%, and construction 10.1%, 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--almost seven million crossings to date--between the two parts of the island with no significant interethnic incidents. In August 2004, new EU rules allowed goods produced in the north to be sold in the south provided they met EU rule of origin and sanitary/phyto-sanitary requirements. In May 2005, the Turkish Cypriot "authorities" adopted a new regulation "mirroring" the EU rules and allowing certain goods produced in the south to be sold in the north. Suppliers of imported products in the government-controlled area cannot directly serve the Turkish Cypriot market and vice versa. Despite these efforts, direct trade between the two communities remains very limited.

Turkey remains, by far, the main trading partner of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, supplying 60% of imports and absorbing over 40% 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 stated that only goods bearing certificates of origin from the Government of Cyprus could be recognized for trade by EU member countries. 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 $13.8 million in 2003 (or 28% of total exports). Even so, the EU continues to be the second-largest trading partner of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, with a 25% share of total imports and 28% share of total exports. Total imports increased to $853.1 million in 2004 (from $477.7 million in 2003), while total exports increased to $61.5 million (from $50.6 million in 2003). Imports from the U.S. reached $7.1 million in 2004, while exports to the U.S. were less than $10,000.

Assistance from Turkey is crucial to the Turkish Cypriot economy. Under the latest economic protocol (signed in 2005), Turkey undertakes to provide Turkish Cypriots loans and financial assistance totaling $450 million over a three-year period for public finance, tourism, banking, and privatization projects. 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 Turkish assistance to Turkish Cypriots since 1974 is estimated to exceed $3 billion.

* Section refers to the government-controlled area unless otherwise specified.

FOREIGN RELATIONS
The Government 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 Government 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 Government of Cyprus.

The Government of Cyprus enjoys close relations with Greece. Cyprus is expanding relations with Russia, Israel, Egypt, and Syria, from which it purchases most of its oil. 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 country has signed the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Agreement (MIGA).

U.S.-CYPRUS RELATIONS
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, but after the failure of the Greek Cypriots to approve the comprehensive settlement plan in April 2004, the path to a settlement is unclear.

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.

The United States has channeled $305 million in assistance to the two communities through bi-communal projects, the UN Office of Project Services, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Cyprus Red Cross since the mid-1970s. The United States now provides approximately $13.5 million annually to promote bi-communal projects and finance U.S. scholarships for Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--vacant
Charg� d'affaires--Matthew A. Palmer
Consular Officer--Henry Hand
Defense Attach�--Col. Steve G. Boukedes
Economic/Commercial Officer--Michael Dixon
Management Officer--Katherine Munchmeyer
Political Officer--Matthew A. Palmer (Charg� d'affaires July 8-30, 2005)
Public Affairs Officer--Craig Kuehl
USAID--Thomas A. Dailey

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. [357] 22 39 39 39; telex: 4160 AMEMY CY; fax: [357] 22 78 09 44; Consular fax: [357] 22 77 68 41.



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