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The Cypriot-Turkish Conflict and NATO-European Union Cooperation

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Despite having 22 member states in common, the European Union EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO have been unable to fully cooperate since 2004. Chief among the causal factors for this divide is the persistent conflict between Turkey and Cyprus. NATO requires that every state it shares security information with be a member of its Partnership for Peace PfP program. Accession to the PfP program requires unanimous approval by all NATO states. Turkey has not recognized the Republic of Cyprus since 1963, however, and has blocked its accession to PfP. Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004. The EU has a regulation requiring all member states to be present at security-related meetings. Since Turkey, a NATO ally, does not recognize Cyprus, however, a participation problem has resulted. The EU and NATO have not been able to fully cooperate since Cyprus joined the EU. This research analyzes the historical roots of the 1974 conflict involving Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey, and the current factors that prolong the Cypriot-Turkish stalemate. The thesis argues that overcoming the conflict would be beneficial for the island and the region, and would allow full NATO-EU cooperation to resume.

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  • Government and Political Science

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