British Foreign Minister Wendy Morton has stated that “the UK continues to advocate a solution (in Cyprus) in line with UN parameters based on the model of a Bi-zonal, Bi-communal Federation.”
She was responding to Sir Roger Gale, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus, who had sent a letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stressing that the UK Government “must take every opportunity both publicly and privately to reiterate its support for the agreed basis for a solution.”
The Minister for the European Neighbourhood adds in her letter this model “is internationally accepted and one that we believe to be broad enough to address the concerns of both sides.”
“Ultimately,” she carries on, “it is for the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to decide on the details of a Settlement and the UK, as a Guarantor Power and a friend to all parties, will continue to provide support to the UN-led process.”
Mrs Morton notes that at the informal talks in Geneva last April, the Foreign Secretary made clear the UK’s position on a settlement, urging all sides to demonstrate “flexibility and compromise” to find a solution to the Cyprus Issue “within UN Security Council parameters”.
She adds that the UK ministers “continue to make clear our position in conversations with our Turkish counterparts.”
Addressing concerns expressed by Sir Roger about UK Government statements for the need to end the “so-called isolation” of the Turkish Cypriot community, which is only a result of the Turkish invasion and occupation, she states that the UK’s position has not changed: “Although UK Ministers regularly engage with Mr Tatar in the context of the Settlement process, on the question of UK recognition for the self-declared ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’, the UK’s longstanding position is one of non-recognition and we fully support UN Security Council Resolutions 541 and 550 in this regard.
“Within the constraints of Security Council Resolutions, the UK continues to support appropriately measures aimed at reducing the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community. However, we maintain that the most sustainable means of addressing the isolation of communities on the island is through a just and lasting Settlement.”
Mrs Morton concludes her letter to Sir Roger Gale with a reminder that she is due to speak at the Annual Parliamentary Event of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, co-organised with the APPG on Cyprus on 19 July. The Federation is the APPG’s Secretariat.
[Thanasis Gavos, CNA]