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Europe's eastern outpost: the Republic of Cyprus and the Middle East

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This article explores the relationship between the Republic of Cyprus and the Middle East. Although it is now a member of the European Union, geographically Cyprus was long viewed as a peripheral part of the Middle East. This has naturally created a certain ambiguity in terms of the relationship the island has with its regional neighbours. However, politics rather than geography has been the main force driving modern and contemporary relations. Throughout the Cold War, Cyprus was a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, along with many of the other countries of the region. Its relations with the region have also been shaped by its desire to prevent the Muslim Arab states from recognizing the Turkish Cypriot breakaway regime in northern Cyprus. In turn, these factors shaped Cyprus' views on a number of regional issues, including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the invasion of Iraq. Since it joined the EU, in May 2004, Cyprus has increasingly taken an equidistant approach on regional issues and increasingly sees itself as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24761/

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