More information about Cyprus is available on the Cyprus Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
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. Since 1974, the southern part of Cyprus has been under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part of Cyprus, administered by Turkish Cypriots, 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.
The United States regards the status quo on Cyprus as unacceptable and supports efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Successive U.S. administrations have viewed UN-facilitated, Cypriot-led settlement negotiations as the best means to achieve a fair and permanent settlement. The United States urges all parties to implement confidence-building measures and improve bicommunal relations.
The United States works closely with the Republic of Cyprus to advance shared priorities in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Cooperation between the United States and the ROC is at a historic high. We have been breaking new ground in our security relationship, beginning with the Statement of Intent on bilateral security cooperation that we signed with Cyprus in late 2018. Since then, our security partnership has continued to deepen, as witnessed by the accreditation of the ROC’s first Defense Attaché at its embassy in Washington, joint military exercises, port visits by U.S. naval vessels to Cyprus, and senior-level visits to the ROC by U.S. military leadership, including U.S. European Command Deputy Commander Stephen Twitty in January 2020. On December 2019, the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 was signed into law as part of the FY 2020 Appropriations Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2020, highlighting the United States’ security interests in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including countering Russian malign influence.
Our bilateral partnership also continues to grow in other areas of common interest, such as promoting peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, diversifying European energy sources, fostering opportunities for greater trade and investment, and protecting cultural heritage. The United States engages with the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, and other partners in the region to address energy, economic development, and counterterrorism.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004. The EU’s body of common rights and obligations (acquis communautaire) is suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots pending a settlement to the island’s division. 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.
ROC Membership in International Organizations
The ROC and the United States belong to many of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The ROC also is an observer to the Organization of American States.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
More information about Cyprus is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: