Cyprus

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Overview
<p> As an ancient crossroads on the trading routes from the East to the West, Cyprus has been occupied or controlled by the Myceneans, Greeks, Byzantines, British, French, Italians and Turks dating back to 3700 BC. Cyprus gained its independence in 1960, but divisions between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots has resulted in incidents of violence for the past 30 years or so. Currently, United Nations peacekeepers have established a buffer zone between the Greek and Turkish sectors. The Turkish have declared their sector a separate country, but only Turkey recognizes it. Cyprus entered the European Union in 2004, and this, as well as new oil and gas exploration plans, has provided even more impetus for foreign allies, such as the US, to pressure the Greek and Turkish elements to negotiate a peaceful solution to their issues.</p>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: Located 40 miles south of Turkey and 60 miles west of Syria in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has been occupied by successive waves of conquerors from earliest times.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 792,604</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic) 4%.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Greek, Turkish, English.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <p> &nbsp;</p>
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History
<div> The Cypriot culture is an ancient one. Earliest records show that the island was inhabited by 3700 BC as a crossroads along the trading routes between the East and West. The Myceneans governed the island until Alexander the Great conquered the country. Ptolemy succeeded him, until Rome took over in 58BC.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Byzantium ruled Cyprus for 800 years beginning in 364 AD. King Richard the Lion-Hearted (Richard I) briefly held the island nation during the Crusades. It was subsequently sold to the Knights Templar and then to Guy de Lusignan in the late 12th Century.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cyprus was ceded to the Venetian Republic in 1489 and eventually conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1571. Under Turkish rule, Cyprus used the millet system, which meant that religious authorities governed their own non-Muslim minorities. The Orthodox Church was strengthened under this system, and the ethnic Greek population was brought closer together.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Control of Cyprus was ceded to Great Britain in 1878. Britain did not control the sovereignty of the citizens, however, and most of the Turks whohad settled on the island chose to stay. During the 1920s, many of these same Turks went back to Turkey. Great Britain had annexed the island in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I, and Cyprus became a crown colony in 1925.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1960, Cyprus gained its independence from Great Britain after a lengthy anti-British campaign led by the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organization of Cypriot Fighters), a guerilla group that wanted political union, or <i>enosis</i>, with Greece. The country formed a constitutional republic and elected Archbishop Makarios III as its first president.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Differences over the constitution soon arose. Greek Cypriots argued against many provisions included to protect Turkish Cypriot interests. In November 1963, Makarios began to remove some of these provisions, but the Turkish Cypriots opposed him. This prompted much in-fighting in December 1963, and some Turkish Cypriots refused to take part in the government any further.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Violence erupted in some parts of the country, especially the capital of Nicosia. Some citizens began to move into ethnic villages and UN peacekeeping forces were deployed in 1964. Although some of the violence was quelled, another outbreak of intercommunal violence in 1967-1968 forced the formation of a Turkish Cypriot provisional administration.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In July 1974, a group of Greek Cypriots launched an Athens-backed (and possibly CIA-sponsored) coup and overthrew President Makarios. The group painted him as a Communist who wanted to abandon political unity with Greece. Turkey intervened, invading Greece to protect Turkish Cypriots.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Turks were able to take over 38% of the island, while most Greek Cypriots fled south, and most Turkish Cypriots fled north. In 1983, the area held by Turks declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but Turkey is the only country that recognizes it. UN peacekeepers maintained a buffer between the two sides and kept the country relatively free from conflict until August 1996 when clashes killed two demonstrators and re-escalated dormant tensions.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although several rounds of talks have been held, Greek and Turkish Cypriots have failed to reach an agreement to unite the island.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The entire island entered the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004, although the EU rules apply only to the areas of the country currently under government control. Thus, the provisions of the EU are suspended in the areas occupied by Turkish Cypriots. In February 2008, the election of a new president, Dimitris Christofias, inspired the UN to encourage new unification talks.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.windowoncyprus.com/history_of_cyprus.htm">The History of Cyprus</a> (Window on Cyprus)</div> <div> <a href="http://countrystudies.us/cyprus/3.htm">History of Cyprus</a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Cyprus">History of Cyprus</a> (Wikipedia)</div>
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Cyprus's Newspapers
<p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="Word.Document" name="ProgId" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="Microsoft Word 12" name="Generator" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="Microsoft Word 12" name="Originator" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <link href="file:///C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_filelist.xml" rel="File-List" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <link href="file:///C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_themedata.thmx" rel="themeData" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <link href="file:///C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_colorschememapping.xml" rel="colorSchemeMapping" /> <!--{12275386140840}--> <style type="text/css"> <!--{12275386140841}--> </style> <!--{12275386140842}--></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/cyprus.htm">Cyprus&#39; Newspapers</a></p> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Cyprus
<p> In August 1974, the US ambassador to Cyprus, Rodger Davies, was shot to death by Greek Cypriot demonstrators during an attack on the US emabassy.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since the mid-1970s, the United States has sent more than $300 million in aid to the Greek and Turkish areas of Cyprus.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There have been three significant waves of Cypriot emigration to the United States. During the height of the struggle for independence from 1955-1959, 29,000 Cypriots (5% of the population) left the island. The periodic economic recessions and political instability of the 1960&rsquo;s motivated another 50,000 (8.5% of the population) to emigrate; of these, 75% went to Britain, 10% to Australia and about 5% to North America.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In the years following the partition of the country in 1974, 54,500 Cypriots left the island nation and took up residence in Australia, North America, Greece and Britain. Cypriot immigration to America peaked in 1976, when 828 Cypriots arrived. There are a few Cypriot communities in Southern California, and a few in New Jersey.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Cyprus
<p> Currently, relations between the US are &ldquo;cooperative but strained.&rdquo; The official US position is that the current political climate on Cyprus is unacceptable. Several presidential administrations have tried to work with the UN to affect a fair compromise to the problems existing between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.&nbsp;</p> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> The US continues to work with Cyprus to minimize terrorism, as a result of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which has been in effect since September 18, 2002. Cyprus also signed a proliferation <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2005/50035.htm">Security Ship Boarding Agreement</a> with the US on July 25, 2005. This agreement is designed to encourage cooperation between the nations in thwarting terror organizations.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Currently, the US sends approximately $15 million each year to help promote peace and cooperation between the two camps. As a result of the Annan Plan process, an additional $30.5 million was appropriated for the two regions in 2004. This money was earmarked for economic development and reduction of economic costs of any future resettlement plan.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 20,048 Americans visited Cyprus, which is only slightly less than the 20,566 American tourists that visited the island in 2002. The number of tourists has fluctuated between a low of 18,097 (2003) and a high of 22,051 (2005) in recent years. The number of Cypriots traveling to the US has remained between 9,000 and 10,000 since 2002.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/69238.htm">The U.S.-Cyprus Relationship</a> (Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Remarks at Press Conference)</div> <div> <a href="http://nicosia.usembassy.gov/USpolicy/sp-WPC_Jan04.htm">A Critical Period in U.S.-Cyprus Relations:&nbsp;Prospects for a Settlement</a> (Remarks by Ambassador Michael Klosson, Western Policy Center)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> US imports from Cyprus endured several notable changes in the years from 2006 to 2007.&nbsp;Imports on the rise included <span>dairy products and eggs, which increased from $2.2 million to $2.3 million, &ldquo;other&rdquo; (soft beverages, processed coffee, etc.), which increased from $285,000 to $973,000 (which represented an increase from just $67,o00 in 2003), &ldquo;fruits and preparations, including frozen juices&rdquo; increased from $18,000 to $27,000 and bakery and confectionary products increased from just $7,000 to $221,000.&nbsp;</span></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> On the decline were fuel oil, which moved down from $16.3 million to $0, &ldquo;other petroleum products,&rdquo; which decreased from $10.1 million to $0, sulfur and nonmetallic minerals, decreasing from $1.8 million to $1.2 million, and agricultural machinery and equipment, which declined from $1.5 million to $0.&nbsp;</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> US exports to Cyprus enjoyed increases in the following areas: <span>meat and poultry increased from $252,000 to $861,000; nuts from $5.5 million to $6.1 million; alcoholic beverages (excluding wine) from $968,000 to $$1.2 million; and fuel oil from $0 to $8.4 million.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> American exports to Cyprus declined in the following areas: household appliances from $1.1 million to $821,000; trucks, buses and special purpose vehicles from $4.2 million to $448,000; civilian aircraft from $142 million to $50.2 million; and photo service industry machinery from $2.9 million to $1.1 million.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Overall, the trade balance with Cyprus was <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c4910.html">$152.3 million in 2007</a>.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2007, the US gave Cyprus $18.1 million in aid, divided between Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation ($17.8 million) and Combating WMD ($300,000). In 2008, the US gave Cyprus $10.9 million, which was wholly dedicated to Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation. The 2009 budget request will allocate $11 million in aid to Cyprus, which will all be spent on Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation. US aid in Cyprus promotes reunification through equal market access, banking reform, vocational training, and other initiatives designed to foster cooperation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c4910.html">Imports from Cyprus</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c4910.html">Exports to Cyprus</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/t/pm/106339.htm">Cyprus: Security Assistance</a> (the U.S. sold $123,416 of defense articles and services to Cyprus in 2007)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101368.pdf">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 456-457)</a> (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.buyusa.gov/cyprus/en/">Cyprus Business World</a> (BuyUSA.gov)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.buyusa.gov/cyprus/en/tradeleads.html">Business Opportunities in Cyprus</a> (BuyUSA.gov)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cipa.org.cy/cipa/cipa.nsf/dmlindex_en/dmlindex_en?OpenDocument">Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>Oil Search Rouses Concern Among Turks&hellip;and Profit Seekers </b></p> <div> In February 2007, the Cypriot government raised controversy among Turks when it announced plans to search for oil and gas off the southern coast of the island. BP and Exxon-Mobil have shown an interest and requested seismological data. Any potential oil deals could also affect Lebanon, which shares waters with Cyprus, as well as Egypt. The US has said that the potential for oil drilling is even more proof that the Greek and Turkish Cypriots need to negotiate a peaceful settlement. An additional controversy arose in October 2007 that involved President Tassos Papadopoulos&rsquo; law firm, which had registered a joint venture poised to bid for the $3.1 billion gas project.</div> <div> <a href="http://www.energycurrent.com/index.php?id=3&amp;storyid=6253">New LNG contract to cost Cyprus</a> (Energy Current)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.helleniccomserve.com/cypruscontroversy.html">The New Cyprus Controversy: Oil</a> (George Gilson, Hellenic Communication Service)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Human Rights
<p> According to the State Department, the Cypriot government has respected the rights of its citizens for the most part. There were problems in some areas, including <span>reports of: police abuse and degrading treatment of persons in police custody and of asylum seekers; violence against women, including spousal abuse; and incidents of violence against children. There were some incidents of discrimination against members of minority ethnic and national groups. Trafficking of women to the island, particularly for sexual exploitation, continued to be a problem.</span></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In May 2006 an NGO reported that it had filed complaints with an ombudsman&rsquo;s office and an independent investigatory committee regarding police treatment of Muslim asylum seekers. Some asylum seekers reportedly had difficulty securing employment, and one asylee alleged that he could not secure housing because of religious discrimination. Late in 2007, the ombudsman submitted a report to the government proposing reconsideration of the whole policy concerning the right of employment for asylum seekers.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Violence against women, including spousal abuse, was common. The law establishes clear mechanisms to report and prosecute family violence and provides that the testimony of minors and experts, such as psychologists, may be used as evidence to prosecute abusers. The law provides for prison terms for the abuse of family members. Doctors, hospital workers, and education professionals are required to report all suspected cases of domestic violence to the police. However, many victims refused to testify in court, and by law spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other. In cases of domestic violence where the spousal victim was the only witness and refused to testify, the courts were forced to drop the case.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the government enacted a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons there were widespread reports that persons were trafficked through and within the country. There were also allegations of police corruption related to trafficking.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were reported incidents of government and societal discrimination against members of minority national and ethnic groups, particularly Turkish Cypriots and Roma.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Despite legal protections, homosexuals faced significant societal discrimination, and few homosexuals in the country were open about their sexual orientation. One NGO reported that there were complaints of discrimination toward homosexuals and persons with HIV/AIDS. NGOs were reluctant to initiate awareness campaigns.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100554.htm">U.S. State Department</a></div> <div> <a href="http://hrw.org/doc/?t=europe&amp;c=cyprus">Human Rights Watch</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/europe-and-central-asia/balkans/cyprus">Amnesty International</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Note: The Embassy in Nicosia was established on Aug 16, 1960, with L. Douglas Heck as Charg&eacute; d&#39;Affaires ad interim.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Fraser Wilkins</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 27, 1960</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 19, 1960</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 6, 1964</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Taylor G. Belcher</div> <div> Appointment: May 1, 1964</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: May 11, 1964</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 23, 1969</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> David H. Popper</div> <div> Appointment: May 27, 1969</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1969</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 31, 1973</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Robert J. McCloskey</div> <div> Appointment: May 24, 1973</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 20, 1973</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 14, 1974</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Rodger P. Davies</div> <div> Appointment: May 2, 1974</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 10, 1974</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Assassinated at post on Aug 19, 1974</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William R. Crawford, Jr.</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 23, 1974</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 31, 1974</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 27, 1978</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Galen L. Stone</div> <div> Appointment: Mar 2, 1978</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 6, 1978</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 30, 1981</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Raymond C. Ewing</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 28, 1981</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 30, 1981</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 11, 1984</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Richard Wood Boehm</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 13, 1984</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1984</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 15, 1987</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Bill K. Perrin</div> <div> Appointment: Apr 1, 1988</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: May 3, 1988</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 21, 1989</div> <div> Note: Re-nominated on Jan 27, 1988, an earlier nomination not having been acted upon by the Senate.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Note: The following officers served as Charg&eacute; d&#39;Affaires ad interim: John U. Nix (Jul 1989&ndash;Jul 1990) and Carolyn Huggins (Jul 1990&ndash;Nov 1990).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Robert E. Lamb</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 30, 1990</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 30, 1990</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 24, 1993</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Richard A. Boucher</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 8, 1993</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 22, 1993</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 12, 1996</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Kenneth C. Brill</div> <div> Appointment: Jun 11, 1996</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 11, 1996</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 25, 1999</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Donald Keith Bandler</div> <div> Appointment: Jul 7, 1999</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 23, 1999</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 18, 2002</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Michael Klosson</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 8, 2002</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 29, 2002</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 3, 2005</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Ronald L. Schlicher</div> <div> Appointment: Nov 22, 2005</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 2005</div> <div> Termination of Mission: August 2008</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/com/10463.htm">Former U.S. Ambassadors to Cyprus</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Cyprus's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Anastasiades, Pavlos

Pavlos Anastasiades became Cyprus’s Ambassador to the United States on September 16, 2010.

 
Anastasiades was born on May 4, 1953, in Famagusta in northeastern Cyprus. From 1965 to 1971 he attended the First Gymnasium for Boys. After two years in the National Service, he enrolled in Britain’s Kettering College, which he attended from 1973 to 1974. He then studied Psychology at the University of Birmingham from 1974 to 1977, completing his doctoral research by 1980. While he was a student, Turkish forces invaded northern Cyprus in 1974 and, as Anastasiades put it, “I became a refugee in my own country.”
 
From 1981 to 1991, Anastasiades worked as a senior scientific research officer at the University of Oxford. In 1991 he joined Cyprus’s Diplomatic Service, initially serving as an attaché in the Political Affairs Division. In 1993 he was appointed Second Secretary at Cyprus’ Embassy in Washington, D.C., and in 1997 he was promoted to First Secretary. That year, Anastasiades was transferred to the Cyprus Embassy in Stockholm, where he was promoted to Second Counsellor in 1999, and First Counsellor in 2001.
 
From 2002 to 2003, Anastasiades served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs EU Division in Nocisia. From 2003 to 2005, he was Director of the Foreign Minister’s Office.
 
Between 2005 and 2010, Anastasiades served as Cyprus’ Ambassador to Sweden, as well as—beginning on February 2, 2006—its Non-Resident Ambassador to Norway.
 
Anastasiades and his wife, Maria Antonopoulou-Anastasiades, have a daughter, Chloe-Alcestes.
 
The Republic of Cyprus: Seeking Unity (interview by Alan Dessoff, Washington International

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Cyprus's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus

Koenig, John
ambassador-image

President Obama has nominated a career diplomat with extensive prior experience in the Aegean Sea region to be the next U.S. ambassador to the ethnically divided island nation of Cyprus. John M. Koenig has served previously in Cyprus, and while his knowledge of Greek will likely endear him to the 77% of Cypriots who speak that language, it may impede relations with the Turkish Cypriot minority, which in 1983 declared an independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey.

 

Born in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, John Koenig grew up in the Puget Sound area. He earned a B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Washington circa 1980 and an M.A. in Foreign Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

 

Koenig joined the Foreign Service in 1984. Early career assignments included service as vice consul at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, from 1984 to 1985; as political officer at the embassy in East Berlin, which was the capital of the former East Germany, from 1985 to 1987; and as political officer at the embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1990 to 1993.

 

Koenig served his first tour in Cyprus as political counselor at the embassy in Nicosia from 1994 to 1997, followed by two postings to Greece, first as political-military officer/deputy political counselor at the embassy in Athens from 1997 to 2000, and then as principal officer at the American Consulate in Thessaloniki from 2000 to 2003, where he organized the largest ever U.S. public affairs event held in Greece to that time, “Honored Nation – USA,” at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

 

Relocating from Southeastern Europe to Northwestern Europe, Koenig served as deputy permanent representative and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, from 2003 to 2006. As acting permanent representative for five months in 2005, he helped launch NATO’s support for the African Union Mission in Sudan.

 

Koenig served as chargé d’affaires ad interim and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, when, according to cables released by Wikileaks, he successfully threatened the German government into not prosecuting 13 American agents who had kidnapped a German car salesman, Khaled el-Masri, and sent him to Afghanistan to be tortured and interrogated. As it turned out, it was a case of mistaken identity.

 

Most recently, Koenig has served as political advisor to the commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, from August 2009 to May 2012. He has also served at the State Department in Washington, as staff assistant in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as watch officer in the Operations Center.

 

Koenig speaks German, Greek, and Indonesian. He is married to Natalie Koenig, who is from Bellingham, Washington. They have two sons, Ted (born 1990) and Alex (born 1992). 

-Matt Bewig

 

Official Biography

Cables Show Germany Caved to Pressure from Washington (by Matthias Gebauer and John Goetz, Der Spiegel)

I am not a State Secret (by Khaled El-Masri, Los Angeles Times)

The El-Masri Cable (by Scott Horton, Harper’s Magazine)

 

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News
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Overview
<p> As an ancient crossroads on the trading routes from the East to the West, Cyprus has been occupied or controlled by the Myceneans, Greeks, Byzantines, British, French, Italians and Turks dating back to 3700 BC. Cyprus gained its independence in 1960, but divisions between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots has resulted in incidents of violence for the past 30 years or so. Currently, United Nations peacekeepers have established a buffer zone between the Greek and Turkish sectors. The Turkish have declared their sector a separate country, but only Turkey recognizes it. Cyprus entered the European Union in 2004, and this, as well as new oil and gas exploration plans, has provided even more impetus for foreign allies, such as the US, to pressure the Greek and Turkish elements to negotiate a peaceful solution to their issues.</p>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: Located 40 miles south of Turkey and 60 miles west of Syria in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has been occupied by successive waves of conquerors from earliest times.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 792,604</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic) 4%.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Greek, Turkish, English.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <p> &nbsp;</p>
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History
<div> The Cypriot culture is an ancient one. Earliest records show that the island was inhabited by 3700 BC as a crossroads along the trading routes between the East and West. The Myceneans governed the island until Alexander the Great conquered the country. Ptolemy succeeded him, until Rome took over in 58BC.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Byzantium ruled Cyprus for 800 years beginning in 364 AD. King Richard the Lion-Hearted (Richard I) briefly held the island nation during the Crusades. It was subsequently sold to the Knights Templar and then to Guy de Lusignan in the late 12th Century.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cyprus was ceded to the Venetian Republic in 1489 and eventually conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1571. Under Turkish rule, Cyprus used the millet system, which meant that religious authorities governed their own non-Muslim minorities. The Orthodox Church was strengthened under this system, and the ethnic Greek population was brought closer together.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Control of Cyprus was ceded to Great Britain in 1878. Britain did not control the sovereignty of the citizens, however, and most of the Turks whohad settled on the island chose to stay. During the 1920s, many of these same Turks went back to Turkey. Great Britain had annexed the island in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I, and Cyprus became a crown colony in 1925.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1960, Cyprus gained its independence from Great Britain after a lengthy anti-British campaign led by the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organization of Cypriot Fighters), a guerilla group that wanted political union, or <i>enosis</i>, with Greece. The country formed a constitutional republic and elected Archbishop Makarios III as its first president.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Differences over the constitution soon arose. Greek Cypriots argued against many provisions included to protect Turkish Cypriot interests. In November 1963, Makarios began to remove some of these provisions, but the Turkish Cypriots opposed him. This prompted much in-fighting in December 1963, and some Turkish Cypriots refused to take part in the government any further.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Violence erupted in some parts of the country, especially the capital of Nicosia. Some citizens began to move into ethnic villages and UN peacekeeping forces were deployed in 1964. Although some of the violence was quelled, another outbreak of intercommunal violence in 1967-1968 forced the formation of a Turkish Cypriot provisional administration.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In July 1974, a group of Greek Cypriots launched an Athens-backed (and possibly CIA-sponsored) coup and overthrew President Makarios. The group painted him as a Communist who wanted to abandon political unity with Greece. Turkey intervened, invading Greece to protect Turkish Cypriots.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Turks were able to take over 38% of the island, while most Greek Cypriots fled south, and most Turkish Cypriots fled north. In 1983, the area held by Turks declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but Turkey is the only country that recognizes it. UN peacekeepers maintained a buffer between the two sides and kept the country relatively free from conflict until August 1996 when clashes killed two demonstrators and re-escalated dormant tensions.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although several rounds of talks have been held, Greek and Turkish Cypriots have failed to reach an agreement to unite the island.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The entire island entered the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004, although the EU rules apply only to the areas of the country currently under government control. Thus, the provisions of the EU are suspended in the areas occupied by Turkish Cypriots. In February 2008, the election of a new president, Dimitris Christofias, inspired the UN to encourage new unification talks.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.windowoncyprus.com/history_of_cyprus.htm">The History of Cyprus</a> (Window on Cyprus)</div> <div> <a href="http://countrystudies.us/cyprus/3.htm">History of Cyprus</a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Cyprus">History of Cyprus</a> (Wikipedia)</div>
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Cyprus's Newspapers
<p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="Word.Document" name="ProgId" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="Microsoft Word 12" name="Generator" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <meta content="Microsoft Word 12" name="Originator" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <link href="file:///C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_filelist.xml" rel="File-List" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <link href="file:///C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_themedata.thmx" rel="themeData" /> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <link href="file:///C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_colorschememapping.xml" rel="colorSchemeMapping" /> <!--{12275386140840}--> <style type="text/css"> <!--{12275386140841}--> </style> <!--{12275386140842}--></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/cyprus.htm">Cyprus&#39; Newspapers</a></p> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Cyprus
<p> In August 1974, the US ambassador to Cyprus, Rodger Davies, was shot to death by Greek Cypriot demonstrators during an attack on the US emabassy.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since the mid-1970s, the United States has sent more than $300 million in aid to the Greek and Turkish areas of Cyprus.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There have been three significant waves of Cypriot emigration to the United States. During the height of the struggle for independence from 1955-1959, 29,000 Cypriots (5% of the population) left the island. The periodic economic recessions and political instability of the 1960&rsquo;s motivated another 50,000 (8.5% of the population) to emigrate; of these, 75% went to Britain, 10% to Australia and about 5% to North America.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In the years following the partition of the country in 1974, 54,500 Cypriots left the island nation and took up residence in Australia, North America, Greece and Britain. Cypriot immigration to America peaked in 1976, when 828 Cypriots arrived. There are a few Cypriot communities in Southern California, and a few in New Jersey.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Cyprus
<p> Currently, relations between the US are &ldquo;cooperative but strained.&rdquo; The official US position is that the current political climate on Cyprus is unacceptable. Several presidential administrations have tried to work with the UN to affect a fair compromise to the problems existing between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.&nbsp;</p> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> The US continues to work with Cyprus to minimize terrorism, as a result of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which has been in effect since September 18, 2002. Cyprus also signed a proliferation <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2005/50035.htm">Security Ship Boarding Agreement</a> with the US on July 25, 2005. This agreement is designed to encourage cooperation between the nations in thwarting terror organizations.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Currently, the US sends approximately $15 million each year to help promote peace and cooperation between the two camps. As a result of the Annan Plan process, an additional $30.5 million was appropriated for the two regions in 2004. This money was earmarked for economic development and reduction of economic costs of any future resettlement plan.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 20,048 Americans visited Cyprus, which is only slightly less than the 20,566 American tourists that visited the island in 2002. The number of tourists has fluctuated between a low of 18,097 (2003) and a high of 22,051 (2005) in recent years. The number of Cypriots traveling to the US has remained between 9,000 and 10,000 since 2002.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/69238.htm">The U.S.-Cyprus Relationship</a> (Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Remarks at Press Conference)</div> <div> <a href="http://nicosia.usembassy.gov/USpolicy/sp-WPC_Jan04.htm">A Critical Period in U.S.-Cyprus Relations:&nbsp;Prospects for a Settlement</a> (Remarks by Ambassador Michael Klosson, Western Policy Center)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> US imports from Cyprus endured several notable changes in the years from 2006 to 2007.&nbsp;Imports on the rise included <span>dairy products and eggs, which increased from $2.2 million to $2.3 million, &ldquo;other&rdquo; (soft beverages, processed coffee, etc.), which increased from $285,000 to $973,000 (which represented an increase from just $67,o00 in 2003), &ldquo;fruits and preparations, including frozen juices&rdquo; increased from $18,000 to $27,000 and bakery and confectionary products increased from just $7,000 to $221,000.&nbsp;</span></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> On the decline were fuel oil, which moved down from $16.3 million to $0, &ldquo;other petroleum products,&rdquo; which decreased from $10.1 million to $0, sulfur and nonmetallic minerals, decreasing from $1.8 million to $1.2 million, and agricultural machinery and equipment, which declined from $1.5 million to $0.&nbsp;</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> US exports to Cyprus enjoyed increases in the following areas: <span>meat and poultry increased from $252,000 to $861,000; nuts from $5.5 million to $6.1 million; alcoholic beverages (excluding wine) from $968,000 to $$1.2 million; and fuel oil from $0 to $8.4 million.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> American exports to Cyprus declined in the following areas: household appliances from $1.1 million to $821,000; trucks, buses and special purpose vehicles from $4.2 million to $448,000; civilian aircraft from $142 million to $50.2 million; and photo service industry machinery from $2.9 million to $1.1 million.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Overall, the trade balance with Cyprus was <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c4910.html">$152.3 million in 2007</a>.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In 2007, the US gave Cyprus $18.1 million in aid, divided between Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation ($17.8 million) and Combating WMD ($300,000). In 2008, the US gave Cyprus $10.9 million, which was wholly dedicated to Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation. The 2009 budget request will allocate $11 million in aid to Cyprus, which will all be spent on Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation. US aid in Cyprus promotes reunification through equal market access, banking reform, vocational training, and other initiatives designed to foster cooperation.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c4910.html">Imports from Cyprus</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c4910.html">Exports to Cyprus</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/t/pm/106339.htm">Cyprus: Security Assistance</a> (the U.S. sold $123,416 of defense articles and services to Cyprus in 2007)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101368.pdf">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 456-457)</a> (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.buyusa.gov/cyprus/en/">Cyprus Business World</a> (BuyUSA.gov)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.buyusa.gov/cyprus/en/tradeleads.html">Business Opportunities in Cyprus</a> (BuyUSA.gov)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cipa.org.cy/cipa/cipa.nsf/dmlindex_en/dmlindex_en?OpenDocument">Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>Oil Search Rouses Concern Among Turks&hellip;and Profit Seekers </b></p> <div> In February 2007, the Cypriot government raised controversy among Turks when it announced plans to search for oil and gas off the southern coast of the island. BP and Exxon-Mobil have shown an interest and requested seismological data. Any potential oil deals could also affect Lebanon, which shares waters with Cyprus, as well as Egypt. The US has said that the potential for oil drilling is even more proof that the Greek and Turkish Cypriots need to negotiate a peaceful settlement. An additional controversy arose in October 2007 that involved President Tassos Papadopoulos&rsquo; law firm, which had registered a joint venture poised to bid for the $3.1 billion gas project.</div> <div> <a href="http://www.energycurrent.com/index.php?id=3&amp;storyid=6253">New LNG contract to cost Cyprus</a> (Energy Current)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.helleniccomserve.com/cypruscontroversy.html">The New Cyprus Controversy: Oil</a> (George Gilson, Hellenic Communication Service)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Human Rights
<p> According to the State Department, the Cypriot government has respected the rights of its citizens for the most part. There were problems in some areas, including <span>reports of: police abuse and degrading treatment of persons in police custody and of asylum seekers; violence against women, including spousal abuse; and incidents of violence against children. There were some incidents of discrimination against members of minority ethnic and national groups. Trafficking of women to the island, particularly for sexual exploitation, continued to be a problem.</span></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In May 2006 an NGO reported that it had filed complaints with an ombudsman&rsquo;s office and an independent investigatory committee regarding police treatment of Muslim asylum seekers. Some asylum seekers reportedly had difficulty securing employment, and one asylee alleged that he could not secure housing because of religious discrimination. Late in 2007, the ombudsman submitted a report to the government proposing reconsideration of the whole policy concerning the right of employment for asylum seekers.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Violence against women, including spousal abuse, was common. The law establishes clear mechanisms to report and prosecute family violence and provides that the testimony of minors and experts, such as psychologists, may be used as evidence to prosecute abusers. The law provides for prison terms for the abuse of family members. Doctors, hospital workers, and education professionals are required to report all suspected cases of domestic violence to the police. However, many victims refused to testify in court, and by law spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other. In cases of domestic violence where the spousal victim was the only witness and refused to testify, the courts were forced to drop the case.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the government enacted a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons there were widespread reports that persons were trafficked through and within the country. There were also allegations of police corruption related to trafficking.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were reported incidents of government and societal discrimination against members of minority national and ethnic groups, particularly Turkish Cypriots and Roma.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Despite legal protections, homosexuals faced significant societal discrimination, and few homosexuals in the country were open about their sexual orientation. One NGO reported that there were complaints of discrimination toward homosexuals and persons with HIV/AIDS. NGOs were reluctant to initiate awareness campaigns.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100554.htm">U.S. State Department</a></div> <div> <a href="http://hrw.org/doc/?t=europe&amp;c=cyprus">Human Rights Watch</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/europe-and-central-asia/balkans/cyprus">Amnesty International</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Note: The Embassy in Nicosia was established on Aug 16, 1960, with L. Douglas Heck as Charg&eacute; d&#39;Affaires ad interim.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Fraser Wilkins</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 27, 1960</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 19, 1960</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 6, 1964</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Taylor G. Belcher</div> <div> Appointment: May 1, 1964</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: May 11, 1964</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 23, 1969</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> David H. Popper</div> <div> Appointment: May 27, 1969</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1969</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 31, 1973</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Robert J. McCloskey</div> <div> Appointment: May 24, 1973</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 20, 1973</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 14, 1974</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Rodger P. Davies</div> <div> Appointment: May 2, 1974</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 10, 1974</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Assassinated at post on Aug 19, 1974</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William R. Crawford, Jr.</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 23, 1974</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 31, 1974</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 27, 1978</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Galen L. Stone</div> <div> Appointment: Mar 2, 1978</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 6, 1978</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 30, 1981</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Raymond C. Ewing</div> <div> Appointment: Sep 28, 1981</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 30, 1981</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 11, 1984</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Richard Wood Boehm</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 13, 1984</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1984</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 15, 1987</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Bill K. Perrin</div> <div> Appointment: Apr 1, 1988</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: May 3, 1988</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 21, 1989</div> <div> Note: Re-nominated on Jan 27, 1988, an earlier nomination not having been acted upon by the Senate.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Note: The following officers served as Charg&eacute; d&#39;Affaires ad interim: John U. Nix (Jul 1989&ndash;Jul 1990) and Carolyn Huggins (Jul 1990&ndash;Nov 1990).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Robert E. Lamb</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 30, 1990</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 30, 1990</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 24, 1993</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Richard A. Boucher</div> <div> Appointment: Oct 8, 1993</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 22, 1993</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 12, 1996</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Kenneth C. Brill</div> <div> Appointment: Jun 11, 1996</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 11, 1996</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 25, 1999</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Donald Keith Bandler</div> <div> Appointment: Jul 7, 1999</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 23, 1999</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 18, 2002</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Michael Klosson</div> <div> Appointment: Aug 8, 2002</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 29, 2002</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 3, 2005</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Ronald L. Schlicher</div> <div> Appointment: Nov 22, 2005</div> <div> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 2005</div> <div> Termination of Mission: August 2008</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/com/10463.htm">Former U.S. Ambassadors to Cyprus</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Cyprus's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Anastasiades, Pavlos

Pavlos Anastasiades became Cyprus’s Ambassador to the United States on September 16, 2010.

 
Anastasiades was born on May 4, 1953, in Famagusta in northeastern Cyprus. From 1965 to 1971 he attended the First Gymnasium for Boys. After two years in the National Service, he enrolled in Britain’s Kettering College, which he attended from 1973 to 1974. He then studied Psychology at the University of Birmingham from 1974 to 1977, completing his doctoral research by 1980. While he was a student, Turkish forces invaded northern Cyprus in 1974 and, as Anastasiades put it, “I became a refugee in my own country.”
 
From 1981 to 1991, Anastasiades worked as a senior scientific research officer at the University of Oxford. In 1991 he joined Cyprus’s Diplomatic Service, initially serving as an attaché in the Political Affairs Division. In 1993 he was appointed Second Secretary at Cyprus’ Embassy in Washington, D.C., and in 1997 he was promoted to First Secretary. That year, Anastasiades was transferred to the Cyprus Embassy in Stockholm, where he was promoted to Second Counsellor in 1999, and First Counsellor in 2001.
 
From 2002 to 2003, Anastasiades served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs EU Division in Nocisia. From 2003 to 2005, he was Director of the Foreign Minister’s Office.
 
Between 2005 and 2010, Anastasiades served as Cyprus’ Ambassador to Sweden, as well as—beginning on February 2, 2006—its Non-Resident Ambassador to Norway.
 
Anastasiades and his wife, Maria Antonopoulou-Anastasiades, have a daughter, Chloe-Alcestes.
 
The Republic of Cyprus: Seeking Unity (interview by Alan Dessoff, Washington International

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Cyprus's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus

Koenig, John
ambassador-image

President Obama has nominated a career diplomat with extensive prior experience in the Aegean Sea region to be the next U.S. ambassador to the ethnically divided island nation of Cyprus. John M. Koenig has served previously in Cyprus, and while his knowledge of Greek will likely endear him to the 77% of Cypriots who speak that language, it may impede relations with the Turkish Cypriot minority, which in 1983 declared an independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey.

 

Born in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, John Koenig grew up in the Puget Sound area. He earned a B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Washington circa 1980 and an M.A. in Foreign Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

 

Koenig joined the Foreign Service in 1984. Early career assignments included service as vice consul at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, from 1984 to 1985; as political officer at the embassy in East Berlin, which was the capital of the former East Germany, from 1985 to 1987; and as political officer at the embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1990 to 1993.

 

Koenig served his first tour in Cyprus as political counselor at the embassy in Nicosia from 1994 to 1997, followed by two postings to Greece, first as political-military officer/deputy political counselor at the embassy in Athens from 1997 to 2000, and then as principal officer at the American Consulate in Thessaloniki from 2000 to 2003, where he organized the largest ever U.S. public affairs event held in Greece to that time, “Honored Nation – USA,” at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

 

Relocating from Southeastern Europe to Northwestern Europe, Koenig served as deputy permanent representative and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, from 2003 to 2006. As acting permanent representative for five months in 2005, he helped launch NATO’s support for the African Union Mission in Sudan.

 

Koenig served as chargé d’affaires ad interim and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, when, according to cables released by Wikileaks, he successfully threatened the German government into not prosecuting 13 American agents who had kidnapped a German car salesman, Khaled el-Masri, and sent him to Afghanistan to be tortured and interrogated. As it turned out, it was a case of mistaken identity.

 

Most recently, Koenig has served as political advisor to the commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, from August 2009 to May 2012. He has also served at the State Department in Washington, as staff assistant in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as watch officer in the Operations Center.

 

Koenig speaks German, Greek, and Indonesian. He is married to Natalie Koenig, who is from Bellingham, Washington. They have two sons, Ted (born 1990) and Alex (born 1992). 

-Matt Bewig

 

Official Biography

Cables Show Germany Caved to Pressure from Washington (by Matthias Gebauer and John Goetz, Der Spiegel)

I am not a State Secret (by Khaled El-Masri, Los Angeles Times)

The El-Masri Cable (by Scott Horton, Harper’s Magazine)

 

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