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Turkey blocks Cyprus’ request to be observer at disarmament conference in Geneva

Turkey blocks Cyprus’ request to be observer at disarmament conference in Geneva

Turkey blocked a request from Cyprus on Tuesday to participate as an observer at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, amid growing tensions between the two countries.

Cyprus was one of a long line of countries to request the right to serve as an observer in the first session of the year of the 65-member Geneva-based body. All requests, except one, were accepted by the necessary consensus.

Turkey’s representative said that Ankara has in the past refrained from blocking Cyprus’s participation, but that has changed. He added that “Turkey will not support this particular request this year,” AFP reports. The US and EU lamented the Turkish move.

Ankara’s objection came amid growing tensions over Turkey expanding its claims over a large gas-rich area which Cyprus says includes its territorial waters.