Prospects for Cyprus issue settlement discussed at UK Parliament event

Prospects for Cyprus issue settlement discussed at UK Parliament event

British Parliamentarians, including Government and Shadow Ministers, expressed their strong and cross-party support for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue, including the abolition of guarantees and the removal of Turkish troops.

Their statements of support were made during the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Cyprus annual Parliamentary Reception for Cyprus to mark the 44th anniversary of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of July 1974.

Attending and addressing the event was Cypriot Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou.

Mr Prodromou updated his fellow speakers and more than 100 UK Cypriots that had gathered at Westminster Palace on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue, mainly that the United Nations Secretary General has appointed Jane Holl Lute as the UN’s new special envoy on Cyprus.

Mr Prodromou also conveyed President Anastasiades’s readiness to resume talks to reunify Cyprus from where the negotiations were left and based upon the framework set out by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. He emphasised the need for thorough preparation for any talks in order to ensure they would head towards a solution of the Cyprus issue.

Federation President, Christos Karaolis, said: “What we’re asking for is both fairs and simple. A just solution based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and the High-Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979.”

The High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus to the UK, Euripides Evriviades expressed deep gratitude to the APPG for Cyprus for being “all-weather friends of Cyprus”. He also commented on the major contribution that the UK Cypriot community has had in the UK and said that they have made both the UK and Cyprus a better place.

Sir Roger Gale, a Conservative MP, who had earlier been re-elected Chair of the APPG for Cyprus, emphasised that MPs were united across party lines in favour of the reunification of Cyprus.

Speaking on behalf of the UK Government, Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said that “the ultimate objective is to achieve a solution in line with the High-Level Agreements”. Lord Ahmad also stressed the importance of the Commonwealth to both the UK and Cyprus and said that both are working towards making it more secure and prosperous.

Fabian Hamilton, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament commented that “security for Cyprus must be through the EU and not through old-fashioned systems nor by foreign troops nor by Turkey”.

Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, reaffirmed her support for the abolition of the Treaty of Guarantee and foreign country intervention rights as well as for the Republic of Cyprus’ right to explore and exploit natural resources in its EEZ.

The next MP to speak was Joan Ryan, MP for Enfield North. Ms Ryan expressed her deep concerns that, under President Erdogan, Turkey is “sliding towards an authoritative regime”.

Bambos Charalambous MP for Enfield Southgate, and the only MP of Cypriot origin, highlighted the importance of resolving the tragic humanitarian issue of the missing persons.

Catherine West, MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, said that “we must all work towards a bi-zonal, bi-communal, federal Cyprus”. Ms West also hoped to see the resumption of reunification talks and stressed the importance of respect and trust during the negotiations process.

Messages of support were also sent by Mike Freer, Stephen Gethins, Lord Collins and Roger Godsiff MPs…. / IBNA