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Foreign relations of Cyprus

From Academic Kids

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 origins of non aligned policy trace back to greek cypriot political leader and archbishop Makarios III participation in the Bandung Conference in 1955 when Cyprus was still a british colony. In 1961 Makarios participated in the founding meeting of the Non-aligned Movement in Belgrade, as a president of the Republic.

Since 1974, the foreign policy of the Government of Cyprus has sought the withdrawal of Turkish forces and 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. Turkey does not recognise the Government of Cyprus.

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 2004. After joining the European Union, Cyprus stopped being a member of the Non-aligned Movement.

The Government of Cyprus enjoys close relations with Greece. Cyprus is expanding relations with Russia, Israel, and Syria, from which it purchases most of its oil.

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

Disputes - international: The 1974 invasion of the Turkish army divided the island into two de facto autonomous areas, a Greek Cypriot area controlled by the internationally recognised Cypriot Government (59% of the island's land area) and a Turkish-Cypriot area (37% of the island) which declared UDI in 1983, that 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: 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

See also : Cyprus
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