AP NEWS

US senator: Cyprus can build stronger relationship with US

April 16, 2019
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U.S. Senator Robert Menendez smiles during a meeting with Cyprus' president Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. U.S Senator Robert Menendez D-N.J. says it's a "great moment" for Cyprus to strengthen its bonds with the U.S. and the West, amid new natural gas discoveries in waters off the east Mediterranean island nation coupled with its partnerships with neighboring countries aimed at bolstering regional security. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A U.S. senator says the time is right for Cyprus to strengthen its bonds with Washington in light of new natural gas discoveries in waters off the east Mediterranean island nation and its partnerships with neighboring countries to bolster regional security.

Sen. Robert Menendez D-N.J. said after talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades Tuesday that Cyprus can “find a whole new day” in its relationship with the U.S. and the West.

Cypriot government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said ties are enhancing, referring to proposed legislation Menendez introduced with Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fl. aimed at lifting a 32-year-old arms embargo on Cyprus.

Prodromou said Cyprus works with countries including Israel and Egypt, serving U.S. interests as ExxonMobil is engaged in a hydrocarbons search of the island.