The U.S. Congress voted on Tuesday to lift an arms embargo on Cyprus, angering Turkey.

The move comes as part of a massive defense bill that U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to sign, the AFP reported.

The embargo on Cyprus dates back to 1987. It was meant to prevent an arms race between the island’s Greek majority and Turkish minority supported by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) led the effort to end the embargo, with Menendez saying, “With Cyprus seeking to deepen its strategic partnership with the United States, it is in our national security and economic interest to lift these outdated decades-long arms restrictions that are no longer helping U.S. security objectives.”

Tensions in the Mediterranean have grown after Turkey concluded a maritime agreement with Libya, according to which it claims that portions of discovered gas reserves in waters claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

The bill would maintain restrictions on some weaponry and technologies unless Cyprus certifies that Russia is not allowed to dock its military vessels for servicing, noted the report.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

JNS is more than just another news website and syndication service. It is an organization devoted to nonstop reporting, and telling the truth about Israel and Jewish issues unburdened by the biases and institutional blinders that distort so much of what we read, hear and see about these topics elsewhere in the secular and even Jewish press.

At JNS, you get the facts about Israel and Jewish issues without the bias that so often tilts the argument against the Jewish state. JNS articles and columns are republished every week by digital outlets and print newspapers across the globe. But in the age of round-the-clock news coverage, advertising and syndication revenues are not enough to support our continued growth. We need your financial help to keep JNS on target as we continue our fair and accurate reporting.

Please help us take JNS to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.