The National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom notes with anxiety the Prime Minister’s apparent intention to meet with Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community in Cyprus, during the latter’s visit to London later this month, and is concerned that such a meeting might be construed by some , including, in particular, Turkey and the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” which is an unlawful administration condemned by the United Nations and recognised by no country in the world except Turkey, as conferring legitimacy on the illegal regime in occupied northern Cyprus.

The Federation further notes that the direct ongoing negotiations between President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader have not so far yielded the hoped for results because Turkey, which is responsible for the continuing military occupation and colonisation of the northern part of the island, and which is the key decision maker on all major issues, continues to impede and obstruct such negotiations. Mr Talat is, therefore, seriously hampered in his conduct of these negotiations by having to be guided by Ankara on big issues. It follows that Prime Minister Gordon Brown needs to focus his energy and efforts on the Turkish Prime Minister and his government so that the latter change their policy on Cyprus and support actively and with deeds the true unity of the island and a comprehensive settlement based on international law, the United Nations Charter and European Union principles and values.

If, notwithstanding the above reservations, the proposed meeting between the Prime Minster and Mr Talat does go ahead, the Federation calls upon the Prime Minister a) to make it clear that he is meeting Mr. Talat in the latter’s capacity as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community and in no other capacity b) to ensure that the meeting does not take place at 10 Downing Street which would send out the wrong signals and c) to impress upon Mr. Talat the urgent need for him to adopt a constructive attitude in the direct negotiations in which he is currently engaged with the President of the Republic. 

Furthermore, the Federation urges the Prime Minister to remind Mr Talat of the Memorandum of Understanding that the former signed, on behalf of the United Kingdom, with President Christofias on 5th June 2008 (“the Memorandum”) and, further, calls upon the Prime Minister to emphasise to Mr Talat that the British Government supports a solution which will be freely negotiated by Cypriots for Cypriots without arbitration, interference by third parties or artificial deadlines, and which will be based on the principles contained in the Memorandum. 

Moreover, the Federation urges the Prime Minister to impress upon Mr Talat the urgent need for him to negotiate within the framework that the latter agreed with President Christofias and to work in good faith for a mutually agreed solution based on the principles contained in the Memorandum, namely for “a comprehensive and durable settlement based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and political equality, as defined by the relevant UN resolutions and the principles upon which the EU is founded, [as well as a] settlement …… based on a single sovereignty, international personality and a single citizenship.” 

Finally, the Federation calls upon the Prime Minister to apply urgent, real and continuous pressure on the Turkish Government, which, as an occupying power, continues to hold the key to the end of the island’s division, so that it conforms to its European Union accession obligations and changes its hitherto intransigent stance in relation to Cyprus.”