U.S. To Dominate All Europe, Mediterranean Through NATO
Cyprus Joins Atlantic Alliance
by Rick Rozoff
March 5, 2011
On February 24 a majority in the Cyprus parliament voted for the country to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Partnership for Peace program, a transitional mechanism employed to bring twelve Eastern European nations into the U.S.-dominated military bloc from 1999-2009: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia. Macedonia would have become a full member of the Alliance in 2009 along with the last two except for the lingering name dispute with Greece.
Cyprus is the only member of the 27-nation European Union that is not either in NATO or the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the only EU member that did not need to join NATO or be on its doorstep in order to be accepted, and the only European nation (excluding the microstates of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City) that is free of NATO entanglements. Every other nation on the continent and island state in the Mediterranean Sea is a member of NATO or the PfP. (NATO still lists Russia as a member of the second and since last November’s NATO summit in Portugal it has been active again in the NATO-Russia Council.)
The vote broke down along party lines, with all 32 opposition parties’ members voting supporting the resolution and all 17 members of the ruling party, the left-wing Progressive Party of [the] Working People (AKEL), voting against it. Deputies from the right-wing Democratic Rally (DISY) – whose initiative it was – the centrist Democratic Party (DIKO) and European Party (EVROKO), the liberal United Democrats (EDI) and the Movement of Social Democrats (EDEK) closed ranks against the government of AKEL President Demetris Christofias in a move to, in the words of a Cypriot newspaper, “force the administration to apply for membership in Partnership for Peace.” 
Ahead of the vote, which AKEL members of parliament succeeded in postponing for a week, government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou stated, “Exercising foreign policy and taking foreign policy decisions is a safeguarded constitutional right of the executive.” 
Cyprus was split into northern ethnic Turkish and southern Greek sections after the Turkish military invasion of 1974, although only Turkey recognizes the northern entity. The Republic of Cyprus has a population of 800,000 and a unicameral parliament, the House of Representatives, and as there is no prime minister President Christofias is both head of state and head of government.
The administration accused DISY and its allies of violating the principle of the separation of powers in attempting to override the president’s prerogative to make foreign policy decisions, with the country’s ruling party denouncing the move as “unprecedented political blackmail.”