Ambassador Judith G. Garber
U.S. Relations With Cyprus
The United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) in 1960 following its independence from the United Kingdom. Shortly after the founding of the Republic, serious differences arose between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities about the implementation and interpretation of the constitution. Subsequent intercommunal violence led to the formation of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in 1964. Following a coup d’état in 1974 backed by the Greek military junta, Turkey intervened militarily resulting in the de facto division of the island. The ROC is the only internationally recognized government on the island, but since 1974 the northern third of Cyprus has been administered separately by Turkish Cypriots with the support of Turkey. This area proclaimed itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) in 1983. The United States does not recognize the “TRNC,” nor does any country other than Turkey. A substantial number of Turkish troops remain on the island. A buffer zone, or “Green Line,” patrolled by UNFICYP separates the two sides.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S. exports and projects involving U.S. investment are primarily in the energy, financial services, tourism, education, logistics, and consumer goods sectors. There may be additional opportunities for investment in Cyprus’ growing energy sector, to include regional energy services, domestic renewable energy, and energy storage technologies. U.S. imports from Cyprus include agricultural products, salt, and minerals. Bilateral business ties also encompass a healthy exchange in services.