Cyprus’ Indispensable Role in the Mediterranean

The island’s location and natural resources have made it a target for ambitious neighbors and rival powers.

In 1956, Cyprus found itself at the center of a heated debate in the United Kingdom. Amid the growing push for independence on the island, which had been a crown colony since 1925, London was accused at home and abroad of repressing the Cypriot people’s right to self-determination. Prime Minister Anthony Eden tried to make the case that maintaining control of Cyprus was in Britain’s interest, saying in a speech on June 1, 1956, that without Cyprus the U.K.’s access to oil would be jeopardized, and without a reliable supply of oil, the country would see a spike in unemployment – even hunger. Nearly 70 years later, Cyprus continues to play a pivotal role in the foreign policies of Mediterranean and global powers clamoring for influence over the strategically located island. Throughout its history, it has been occupied by numerous empires and countries, and today, great powers like the U.S., Russia and Turkey as well as European states are trying to gain a foothold there. How has a small Mediterranean island attracted so much attention from so many powerful players? The answer lies in its geography, location and natural resources. A Target for Rivals Located in the northeast corner of […]

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Caroline D. Rose
Caroline Rose has a Masters of Science (MSc) in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Just before joining GPF she served as a Research Associate for LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit (IDPU), where she researched the nexus between illicit economies and armed insurgencies. She earned her undergraduate degree from American University's School of International Service and has worked previously at both Brookings Institute and the Atlantic Council. Her studies and projects at these institutions covered a range of topics, from Russian and Chinese cyber warfare, evolving American interest within a changing international order, and grand security strategies against state-led revisionism in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Throughout she's written for a diverse array of publications including Limes in Italy.