Cyprus was the fifth nation and the first EU member to join the ship boarding protocol of President Bush's Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), signed by Secretary Rice and Cyprus Foreign Minister Iacovou in Washington on July 25, 2005.
PSI and the ship boarding protocol authorize the boarding, search, and possible detention of vessels suspected of carrying cargo associated with weapons proliferation. The addition of Cyprus was particularly important because Cyprus has one of the world's largest commercial shipping registries.
As the State Department noted, "Signing the ship boarding agreement demonstrates the commitment of Cyprus and the United States to ensuring the highest standards of security for their flag registries."
Read the Embassy's press release
Read a Washintgon Times op-ed on the PSI agreement by Foreign Minister George Iacovou and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Visit the State Department's PSI information webpage