By Thanasis Gavos – London
The British Cypriot community in London has unleashed its wrath in coordination with Nicosia over recent meetings in the UK capital between the so-called ‘foreign minister’ of the pseudo-state of northern Cyprus, Ozdil Nami and leading politicians from all three main UK.
Through the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Peter Droussiotis, the well-organised and populous community expressed its disappointment in no unclear terms, demanding explanations from Messrs Lidington (Conservative and Minister for Europe), Gareth Thomas (Labour, Shadow Minister for Europe) and Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrat, Justice Minister).
The meetings, though labelled “private” by a Foreign Office keen to avoid any tensions, were described by Turkish Cypriot and British authorities as “high-level”. The Cypriot Foreign Ministry took issue especially with the meeting between Ozdil Nami and David Lidington, as it appeared to be upgrading the status of the Turkish Cypriot official’s visit and pose questions about the British Government policy.
Mr Droussiotis threw the weight of the Federation behind the Cypriot ministry’s condemnations by writing to the British MPs that agreed to see the Turkish Cypriot representative.
“I must remind you that such meetings violate United Nations Security Council resolutions 541 and 550 (which, inter alia, declared the UDI in occupied northern Cyprus as ‘legally invalid’, called upon all states not to recognise the illegal regime, not to facilitate or in any way assist the secessionist entity, and to recognise only the Republic of Cyprus as the sole authority on the island and which condemned the illegal secessionist activities in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus in violation of previous UN resolutions),” read the letters sent by Mr Droussiotis to the three politicians.
He goes on to state that the community he represents “is deeply saddened, disappointed and dismayed that such a meeting has been allowed to take place”, explaining that such meetings “are exploited by Turkey, the occupying military power in northern Cyprus, and its puppet administration, as a means to confer legitimacy on the unlawful co-called ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ which is not recognised by the United Kingdom or any other country in the world with the exception of Turkey.”
Specifically in his letter to the Minister for Europe, the Federation President asks: “If there is now a change of policy regarding the Government’s or the Conservative Party’s position on the illegal pseudo-state or even a faint possibility that your party intends to confer any form of recognition to this illegitimate regime now or in the future, then your Government and your party ought to make this completely clear prior to next year’s General Election.” The same question, regarding each one’s party, is put to Gareth Thomas and Simon Hughes as well.
IBNA understands that the Cypriots in the UK are furious and determined to get the explanations and the reassurances they want. The pressure on the political parties is bound to intensify as their conferences period is about to start.