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“East Med cooperation to counter Russia”

Nicosia - Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says the U.S. is looking for friendly nations in the region that share core democratic values in light of what he calls Russia’s “malevolent machinations.”

Nicosia - A senior U.S. lawmaker says the U.S. wants to work with Cyprus and ally Israel to buttress peace in the eastern Mediterranean and to head off Russian influence over the region’s energy reserves.

Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says the U.S. is looking for friendly nations in the region that share core democratic values in light of what he calls Russia’s “malevolent machinations.” After meeting the Cypriot president Monday, Engel said Russia “should not be able to control the situation” over Cyprus’ rights to offshore gas deposits. Engel said he believes there will be progress in efforts to lift a 32-year-old U.S. arms embargo on Cyprus, adding that “this is no longer the 1970s and we have to look at each problem with a fresh look.”

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