U.S. policy toward Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean : changing strategic perspectives after the Cold War

by F. Stephen Larrabee

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The Cyprus issue has been a problem for the United States for the last forty years. Failure to pay attention to Cyprus led to major crises during the Cold War, especially the 1974 crisis, resulting in Greece's temporary withdrawal from NATO's military command and significant deterioration of US relations with Greece and Turkey. Cyprus remains a potential threat to stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, which could lead to renewed confrontation between Greece and Turkey, threatening security in the Mediterranean and possibly spilling into other areas, particularly the Balkans. Prospects for settlement of the Cyprus issue remain dim, primarily because of the domestic situation in Turkey, and the EU's decision to keep Turkey off its list of countries for accession negotiations. Until the EU develops a coherent, long-term, integrated strategy toward Turkey and Cyprus, chances for a political settlement of the Cyprus issue remain poor.

Originally published in: Looking Into the Future of Cyprus-EU Relations, pp. 231-247.

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