File:British Bases in Cyprus and Signals Intelligence.pdf
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British Bases in Cyprus and Signals Intelligence
The Embassy does not believe that the loss of Cyprus-owned physical infrastructure, nor the interruption of key resource exports from the island, would immediately affect the security, national economic security, and/or public health or safety of the United States. A Connecticut-sized Mediterranean island some 5000 miles from the East Coast of the United States, Cyprus simply is too small, too distant, and too lacking in natural resources to affect U.S. interests in that fashion. […] Under the terms of the 1960 independence treaties, Great Britain was allowed to retain two "Sovereign Base Areas" (SBAs) and several isolated sites scattered throughout Cyprus, such as the RAF radar dome on Mt. Olympus, the island's highest point, and various antenna arrays in Ayios Nikolaos, near Famagusta. Via varied formal agreements and informal arrangements, the United States enjoys some access to and benefits from these UK facilities. Unlike the Cyprus-owned infrastructure noted above, the damage or complete loss of SBA-housed facilities would pose a threat to our national security interests in the eastern Mediterranean.
This arrogant but perhaps realistic assessment by the US Ambassador in Nicosia sets the stage for what follows in this brief report. Comprising 254 sq km or approximately 3% of Cyprus territory, the so-called Sovereign Base Areas are probably the most important Western Intelligence listening post in the Eastern Mediterranean, monitoring communications in the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, Russia and beyond. Cyprus has also been a staging point for various UK-US Intelligence and military operations, one of the earliest being the overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 in the now infamous Operation AJAX.2 Until very recently RAF Akrotiri was actively involved in the reconnaissance and air support of the war in Libya, as part of Operation Ellamy...
- US Diplomatic cable - Confidential diplomatic cable sent by US Ambassador in Nicosia Ronald L. Schlicher to the State Department on 29 January 2008, published by WikiLeaks on 1 September 2011]
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|current||09:52, 15 March 2012||(126 KB)||Peter||Reverted to version as of 20:29, 25 January 2012|
|20:29, 25 January 2012||(126 KB)||Peter||Category:Doc Category:Cyprus Category:UKUSA|
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