President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Peter Droussiotis, recently met with Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, for a wide-ranging discussion which covered a variety of topics including UK Greek/Cypriot community relations and political involvement as well as the Cyprus problem.
At the meeting, held at the Leader of the Opposition’s Parliamentary office, Mr Droussiotis briefed Mr Miliband on the Federation’s work, developments affecting British Cypriots, as well as the community’s relations with the Labour Party and British parliamentarians in general.
Mr Droussiotis emphasised the importance that UK Cypriots attach to a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem which will bring about a free and united country for the benefit of all Cypriots, and pointed to the need for the Labour Party, as Her Majesty’s official opposition, to give greater priority to the Cyprus issue in its foreign policy agenda.
The Federation President said that the meeting had been warm and positive and that Mr Miliband indicated his readiness to develop a closer dialogue with the UK Cypriot community and its leadership.
“We had a very warm and constructive meeting, during which I sought and received an assurance that the Cyprus issue will shift higher up the Labour Party’s European and foreign policy agenda.
“I made clear the critical nature of the current stage of direct negotiations between the two communities on the island. I also highlighted Turkey’s unfortunately obstructive and intransigent stance and stressed the importance that the Federation and our community attaches to the role of the British Government and the main party of opposition in Parliament in relation to the Cyprus issue.”
The Labour leader agreed to have a follow up meeting with all of the officers of the Federation in the New Year and indicated his willingness to speak to the community at a public event in North London to be arranged in due course.