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Cyprus Peace Council warns against island becoming aircraft carrier for imperialism after US military education plans unveiled

THE Cyprus Peace Council (CPC) warned against turning the Mediterranean island into an aircraft carrier of the imperialist powers today after the US announced plans to expand military education and training.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the State Department had included Cyprus in its military education and training funding programme for 2020 as part of “our expanding security relationship.”

“This is part of our efforts to enhance relationships with key regional partners to promote stability in the eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

The move, which comes just months after Washington ended an arms embargo imposed in 1987, was condemned as “a huge provocation of the Cypriot people” by the CPC.

It warned that it would lead to further militarisation and possible partition of the island which has been divided since Turkey’s 1974 invasion and subsequent occupation of northern Cyprus.

“They are offering the same generous “education” and “training” today as they offered in 1974 to their then collaborators, the junta of Greece, EOKA B and the Turkish army, to execute the coup d’etat and subsequent invasion of 1974,” the CPC said in a statement.

It said the US and other foreign powers, including Nato, have no place in Cyprus.

“Unfortunately, instead of protecting Cyprus, which has suffered so much and is on the verge of partition, the government is turning Cyprus into an unsinkable aircraft carrier of the imperialist powers and an aggressive launching pad,” the statement added.

CPC pledged to continue the struggle against the militarisation of Cyprus and will fight for “liberation from the occupation and for the reunification of our homeland, turning Cyprus into a bridge of peace for the peoples.”

Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also condemned the US plans.

Tensions have flared with Greece after Turkey’s drilling for gas off the island, with the EU calling the move illegal.

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