U.S. Relations With Cyprus

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Fact Sheet
September 29, 2016

More information about Cyprus is available on the Cyprus Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Cyprus in 1960 following its independence from the United Kingdom. Shortly after the founding of the republic, serious differences arose between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities about the implementation and interpretation of the constitution. The 1960s and early 1970s saw intercommunal violence and foreign intervention by Greece and Turkey. Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the Republic of Cyprus controlled two-thirds of the island and the remaining one-third of the island, which is administered by Turkish Cypriots. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriots declared an independent "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"). The United States does not recognize the "TRNC," nor does any country other than Turkey. United Nations peacekeeping forces have maintained a buffer zone between the two sides since 1964.

The United States regards the status quo on Cyprus as unacceptable and supports efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Successive U.S. administrations have viewed intercommunal negotiations under UN auspices as the best means to achieve a fair and permanent settlement. The United States has urged all parties to intensify their work on behalf of peace and progress.

The United States works closely with Cyprus to advance our shared transatlantic priorities both bilaterally and in the context of our strategic partnership with the European Union, which Cyprus joined in 2004. Our bilateral partnership continues to grow in areas of common interest, such as promoting peace and security in the region, fostering opportunities for greater trade and investment, and protecting cultural heritage. A mutual legal assistance treaty and a Proliferation Security Initiative agreement on ship boarding facilitate bilateral cooperation.

U.S. Assistance to Cyprus

The U.S. goal in Cyprus is to build regional stability through a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus dispute. U.S. assistance focuses on creating conditions conducive to the resolution of the dispute by promoting mutual understanding between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities through support for activities that bring them together to design Cypriot solutions to common problems. U.S. assistance also seeks to address economic disparities between the two communities and promote expanded business and economic relationships between them.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union. The EU's body of common rights and obligations (acquis communautaire) is suspended in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots pending a Cyprus settlement. U.S. exports and projects involving U.S. investment are primarily in the energy, financial services, tourism, logistics, and consumer goods sectors. There may be additional opportunities for investment in Cyprus’ growing energy sector. U.S. imports from Cyprus include agricultural products, salt, and minerals. Bilateral business ties also encompass a healthy exchange in services.

Cyprus's Membership in International Organizations

Cyprus and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Cyprus also is an observer to the Organization of American States.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus is Kathleen A. Doherty; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Cyprus maintains an embassy in the United States at 2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-462-5772).

More information about Cyprus is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Cyprus Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Cyprus Page
U.S. Embassy: Cyprus
USAID Cyprus Page
History of U.S. Relations With Cyprus
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Commercial Service's Market Research Library
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information