Foreign relations of Cyprus: Wikis


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Cyprus is a member of the United Nations[1] along with most of its agencies as well as the Commonwealth of Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Council of Europe. In addition, the country has signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Agreement (MIGA).



Cyprus has historically followed a non-aligned foreign policy, although it increasingly identifies with the West in its cultural affinities and trade patterns, and maintains close relations with Greece.

The prime originator of Cypriot non-alignment was Makarios III, the first President (1960–1977) of the independent republic of Cyprus. Prior to independence, Makarios - by virtue of his post as Archbishop of Cyprus and head of the Cypriot Orthodox Church - was the Greek Cypriot Ethnarch, or de facto leader of the community. A highly influential figure well before independence, he participated in the 1955 Bandung Conference. After independence, Makarios took part in the 1961 founding meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade.

Diplomatic relations of Cyprus. Dark blue: Cyprus; Blue: Embassy level; Light blue: Consulate level.[2][3][4]

Reasons for this neutrality may lie in the extreme pressures exerted on the infant Republic by its larger neighbours, Turkey and Greece. Intercommunal rivalries and movements for union with Greece or partial union with Turkey may have persuaded Makarios to steer clear of close affiliation with either side. In any case Cyprus became a high-profile member of the Non-Aligned Movement and retained its membership until its entry into the European Union in 2004. At the non-governmental level, Cyprus has also been a member of the popular extension of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation hosting several high-level meetings.

Immediately after the 1974 Greek-sponsored coup d'état and the Turkish invasion, Makarios secured international recognition of his administration as the legitimate government of the whole island. This was disputed only by Turkey, which currently recognises only the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, established in 1983.

Since the 1974 crisis, the chief aim of the foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus has been to secure the withdrawal of Turkish forces and the reunification of the island under the most favourable constitutional and territorial settlement possible. This campaign has been pursued primarily through international forums such as the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement, and in recent years through the European Union.

Cyprus is expanding relations with Russia, Israel, and Syria, from which it purchases most of its oil. In the past it had some difficulty with both Israel and Egypt.


Cyprus has frequently expressed concern over Israel's close defense relationship with Turkey. In the case of Israel, Cyprus has occasionally outwardly backed the Palestinians in the Arab-Israeli conflict, to the annoyance of some in the Israeli government. Cyprus, like over 100 other countries, officially recognizes Palestine as a de facto state. The island is also host to a number of Palestinian and Lebanese refugees.

Relations between the two countries continued to suffer when Cypriot first lady Antroulla Vasiliou, the wife of President George Vasiliou, was declared Persona Non Grata in Israel when a delegation she was leading attempted to meet with Yasser Arafat, who was under house arrest.

Controversy and public outcry arose in the early 2000s, when members of the Cypriot branch of the Greek Orthodox Church were accused of selling church-owned land in the West Bank to Israeli developers, putting Cypriot commitment to the Palestinian cause at question. The expulsion of two alleged Israeli spies from the island in 1998 also caused tension between the two governments.

The two countries now appear to be on good relations, at least commercially with agriculture and tourism. The Cypriot government has also been reported to be making deals with both Israel and Egypt in exploring for oil off the southern Cyprus coast.


Turkey flatly refuses to recognize the government of the Republic of Cyprus, stating that the Republic - as established by the Constitution of 1960 - ceased to exist when the intercommunal violence that commenced in December 1963 ended Turkish Cypriot participation in the Cypriot government. The attempted coup in July 1974 - engineered by Greece - was responded to by Turkey by a full military invasion, which resulted in the northern third of the island being occupied by Turkish military forces. This portion of Cyprus unilaterally declared independence in November 1983 as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which Turkey recognizes. Turkey refers to the Republic of Cyprus government as "The Greek Cypriot Administration of South Cyprus".

Cyprus takes the view that the TRNC government is a puppet administration, and thus prefers to negotiate with Turkey over the resolution of the Cyprus Problem. Turkey insists that the TRNC government is the institution that the RoC government must refer to in negotiations.

Cyprus' accession to the European Union has had a negative impact on Turkey in regards to its own accession negotiations. The refusal of Turkey to allow Cypriot-flagged ships to access Turkish ports has resulted in a partial suspension of its accession negotiations.


Cyprus' 1990 application for full EU membership caused a storm in the Turkish Cypriot community, which argued that the move required their consent. Following the December 1997 EU Summit decisions on EU enlargement, accession negotiations began March 31, 1998. Cyprus joined the European Union on May 1, 2004. To fulfil its commitment as a member of the European Union, Cyprus withdrew from the Non-Aligned Movement on accession, retaining observer status.

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Austria See Foreign relations of Austria
 Bosnia and Herzegovina See Foreign relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Croatia See Foreign relations of Croatia
 Czech Republic 1960s
 Estonia January 22, 1992
  • Cyprus recognized the Republic of Estonia on September 12, 1991.
  • Cyprus is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Helsinki (Finland).
  • Estonia is represented in Cyprus through its embassy in Athens (Greece) and through 2 honorary consulates in Nicosia.

Both countries are full members of the European Union.

 Finland September 2, 1961
 Georgia July 9, 1993
  • Cyprus has an embassy in Athens and a consulate-general in Thessaloniki.
  • Greece has an embassy in Nicosia.
 Hungary 1960
 Italy 1960
 Moldova February 12, 1992
 Montenegro March 13, 2007
 Netherlands 1960
 Norway See Cyprus–Norway relations

Neither country has resident ambassadors. Cyprus is represented in Norway through its embassy in Stockholm (Sweden) and 2 honorary consulates (in Oslo and Kristiansand). Norway is represented in Cyprus through its embassy in Athens (Greece) and an honorary consulate in Nicosia. Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe. Diplomatic relations were established on March 22, 1963.[18]

 Poland 1960s See Cyprus–Poland relations
 Romania August 16, 1960
 Russia See Cyprus–Russia relations
  • The USSR established diplomatic relations with the newly independent Republic of Cyprus on August 18, 1960.
  • Cooperation between both countries has increased since the 1990s and the fall of the USSR.
  • Cyprus has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Nicosia.
 Serbia 1960
 Spain December 25, 1967
 United Kingdom See Cyprus–United Kingdom relations
  • The two countries share membership of the European Union and Commonwealth of Nations.
  • Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, after 83 years of British control.

The continuing British sovereignty of the Dhekelia and Akrotiri areas, has continued to divide Cypriots. The base areas are not under the jurisdiction of the Cypriot government. Several Cypriot villages remain enclaved in the areas, and there have been numerous arrests of anti-British demonstrators over the past few years. These activists assert that the UK should not continue to hold territory in another EU state.

North Africa

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Algeria See Algeria–Cyprus relations
 Egypt See Cyprus–Egypt relations
  • Cyprus has an embassy in Cairo
  • Egypt has an embassy in Nicosia.

Egypt is a close ally, sharing as it does an oilfield with Cyprus. The relationship between the two countries was also strained in February 1978 when Cypriot National Guardsmen shot dead Egyptian Commandos at Larnaca International Airport when the commandos attempted to intervene in a hostage situation.

 Tunisia 1999

Middle East

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Iran 1960s
 Israel 1960
 Lebanon 1960
 Oman 1978

Rest of World

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 1991
 Australia See Foreign relations of Australia
 Canada See Canada–Cyprus relations

Canadian bilateral political relations with Cyprus stemmed initially from Cypriot Commonwealth membership at independence in 1960 (that had followed a guerrilla struggle with Britain). These relations quickly expanded in 1964 when Canada became a major troop contributor to UNFICYP. The participation lasted for the next 29 years, during which 50,000 Canadian soldiers served and 28 were killed. In large measure Canadian relations with Cyprus continue to revolve around support for the ongoing efforts of the UN, G8 and others to resolve the Island's divided status. Contacts with Cyprus on other issues also take place in international organizations such as the UN, the OSCE and the Commonwealth of Nations.

 Japan 1962-06
 Mexico 1960
 New Zealand
 People's Republic of China See Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China
 South Korea December 28, 1995
 United States See Cyprus – United States relations

The United States regards the status quo on Cyprus as unacceptable.


Cyprus is represented in Vietnam through its embassy in New Delhi, India. Vietnam is represented in Cyprus through its embassy in Tripoli, Libya.

Disputes - international

The 1974 invasion of the Turkish army divided the island nation into two. The internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus currently has effective control in the south of the island (59% of the island's land area) while its area not under its effective control makes up 37% of the island. Turkey utilising the territory occupied during the invasion recognizes a declared separatist[38] UDI of Turkish Cypriots in 1983, contrary to multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The two territories of the Republic are separated by a United Nations Buffer Zone (4% of the island); there are two UK sovereign base areas mostly within the Greek Cypriot portion of the island.

Illicit drugs

Cyprus is a minor transit point for heroin and hashish via air routes and container traffic to Europe, especially from Lebanon and Turkey; some cocaine transits as well. The island has also been criticised for supposedly lax arms control legislation.

See also


  1. ^ "UN Security Council Resolution 155 (1960)" (PDF). United Nations. Aug 23, 1960. Retrieved January 29, 2007.  
  2. ^ Including parallel accreditation of another Cypriot embassy
  3. ^ Cyprus is represented in most of the rest states by embassies of other European Union member states
  4. ^ Cyprus, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  5. ^ Cyprus embassy in Prague
  6. ^ Czech embassy in Nicosia
  7. ^ Cyprus embassy in Copenhagen
  8. ^ Danish embassy in Nicosia
  9. ^ Cyprus embassy in Helsinki
  10. ^ Finish embassy in Nicosia
  11. ^ Cyprus embassy in Berlin
  12. ^ German embassy Nicosia
  13. ^ Hungarian embassy in Nicosia
  14. ^ Italian embassy in Nicosia
  15. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Athens (also accredited to Cyprus)
  16. ^ Cyprus embassy in The Hague
  17. ^ Dutch embassy in Nicosia
  18. ^ "Cyprus – Norway Bilateral Relations". Embassy of Cyprus in Sweden. Retrieved May 3, 2009.  
  19. ^ Polish embassy in Nicosia
  20. ^ Cyprus embassy in Lisbon
  21. ^ Romanian embassy in Nicosia
  22. ^ Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Cyprus
  23. ^ Slovakian embassy in Nicosia
  24. ^ Cyprus embassy in Madrid
  25. ^ Spanish embassy in Nicosia (in Spanish only)
  26. ^ "Swedish, Finn Troops Due on Cyprus Today". Chicago Tribune. March 26, 1964. Retrieved June 11, 2009. "The full contingents from Sweden, Ireland, and Finland are due within the next month to bring the ..."  
  27. ^ Cyprus embassy in Stockholm
  28. ^ Swedish embassy in Nicosia
  29. ^ Cyprus honorary consulate in Kiev (in Ukrainian only)
  30. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Nicosia
  31. ^ "Cyprus’ Ambassador to Algeria presents credentials - 13/10/2006". Cyprus' Ministry of Foreign. Retrieved May 1, 2009.  
  32. ^ Cyprus embassy in Lisbon (also accredited to Morocco)
  33. ^ Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs: directions of the 2 honorary consulates of Morocco in Cyprus
  34. ^ Cyprus embassy in Tehran
  35. ^ Israeli embassy in Nicosia
  36. ^ Cyprus embassy in Beirut
  37. ^ Indian high commission in Nicosia
  38. ^ Christopher Hitchens, Uncorking the Genie: The Cyprus Question and Turkey's Military Rule MERIP Reports, No. 122, Turkey under Military Rule (Mar. - Apr., 1984), pp. 25-27, doi:10.2307/3011799

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