The President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Christos Karaolis, and Vice President, Bambos Charalambous, met with the new UK High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Irfan Siddiq OBE, on Friday 9th September at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Mr Siddiq replaced Mr Stephen Lillie CMG as High Commissioner in Nicosia in August. The UK High Commissioner met with the Federation to discuss the perspectives of the UK Cypriot diaspora on key issues relating to Cyprus and the Cyprus issue.

On the Cyprus issue, the Federation’s Officers stressed to the UK High Commissioner the necessity of ending the system of third country guarantees and the withdrawal of foreign troops as part of a just and viable solution. They also discussed the criticality of Turkey engaging constructively in negotiations on the basis of the agreed UN framework for a solution and the importance of the Confidence Building Measures proposed by President Anastasiades, to create a positive climate.

The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss Cyprus and the UK’s deep and historic relationship as members of the Commonwealth, the close ties between the two countries and the contribution of the UK-Cypriot diaspora. Mr Siddiq was interested in the close connection that British-born Cypriots feel towards both Britain and Cyprus.

Mr Siddiq said that he looked forward to future close cooperation. The Federation’s President and Vice President also conveyed their best wishes to Mr Siddiq for his term of office.