The representations of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK about Varosi to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (“FCDO”) both directly and via the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus, this week received a response from the European Neighbourhood Minister, Wendy Morton MP. The Federation’s letter was sent onto the FCDO for a response by north London MP, Mike Freer. In addition to these letters, the Federation launched an email campaign urging the community to contact the Foreign Secretary directly. Within 3 days, over 3,200 emails were sent to the FCDO.
In the responses to the Federation and Sir Roger Gale MP (Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus), the European Neighbourhood Minister states that the United Kingdom is concerned about the announcement of the opening of the Varosi beachfront and the subsequent opening of the beachfront on 8 October.
Ms. Morton highlights that the British Government made representations to Turkey through the British Embassy in Ankara both before and after the announcement. “The UK’s position was reiterated in discussions with the Turkish representative to the United Nations in New York and with the Turkish ambassador in London,” she added.
The letter also notes that the United Kingdom, in response to the announcement, requested that the Security Council held closed-door consultations on 9 October.
“The UK continues to support the numerous Security Council Resolutions covering the issue of Varosha, notably 550 (1984) and 789 (1992). In this regard, we fully support the UN Presidential Statement reaffirming its support for the relevant Security Council Resolutions and expressing deep concern regarding the announcement, and calling for its reversal,” reiterates the Foreign Minister.
She also stresses that the British Government “continues to be a strong supporter of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on the internationally accepted model of a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” and that it welcomes the “stated readiness” of the sides to resume settlement talks.
“The issue of Varosha underlines the importance of reaching a comprehensive Cyprus Settlement as a matter of urgency, and as such we continue to encourage the parties to engage constructively and demonstrate their commitment,” concludes Morton’s letter, which comes as a response to a previous communication by the APPG for Cyprus.
The initial letter from the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis, was addressed to the Foreign and Development Affairs Secretary, Dominic Raab and noted that “Given Turkey’s continued disregard for international law, as well as the UK’s Treaty obligations to Cyprus and permanent membership of the UN Security Council, it is now time for our Government’s public response to be more robust and clear in its condemnation, leaving in no doubt that the United Kingdom considers this action by Turkey a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions on Varosi.”
The letter from All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Cyprus to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary was sent by its Chairman, Sir Roger Gale MP and co-signed by Bambos Charalambous, Christine Jardine, Caroline Nokes and Jack Dromey. In that letter, the Officers stated that following the illegal reopening of the Varosha beachfront “surely it is now time for an unequivocal and robust condemnation” of these actions by the UK Government. They had also urged the government to “seriously consider all measures and actions that it can deploy to ensure that International Law and UN Security Council Resolutions are upheld.”