UK reaffirms position on Cyprus issue settlement

The Foreign Office has reaffirmed the UK Government’s positions on issues concerning the Cyprus settlement with a letter addressed to 11 members of the populous UK Cypriot community.

The letter confirms British support for a bizonal, bicommunal federation and for the resumption of talks, while it repeats the position that the UK is prepared to accept any security arrangement agreed by the rest of the parties concerned.

The Foreign Office responded to a letter by the 11 UK Cypriots that had been addressed to Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of her meeting in London with Turkish President Erdogan. The letter had urged Mrs May to use the meeting to call for a just and viable settlement without guarantors and foreign troops.

Responding on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Foreign Office reassures the UK Cypriots of the UK’s ongoing support for a just and lasting settlement to reunite Cyprus. The UK’s consistent message to all parties is that we believe that a settlement based on the internationally accepted bizonal, bicommunal federation model is the best way to achieve that goal, reads the letter.

On Security and Guarantees the Foreign Office states that the UK has always made clear that we are open to whatever arrangements the two sides and other Guarantor Powers can agree to meet the security needs of both Cypriot communities.

The senders of the original letter had also noted that they considered the immediate return of the town of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants as a starting point and a catalyst for a settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Referring to the case of Famagusta, the Foreign Office letter notes that its present state reflects the consequences of the continued division of Cyprus. It adds that the UK fully supports all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 550 and 789.

We continue to raise this issue with the Turkish Cypriots and with the Turkish authorities. The Government remains convinced that, ultimately, a comprehensive settlement is the best chance of resolving complex issues such as this, continues the letter.

It goes on to say that since the 2017 Conference on Cyprus the British Government has urged all parties to avoid words or actions that risk escalating tensions in the region or that could have a negative impact on the prospects for a Cyprus settlement.

It is now for the parties to decide the way forward. The Government will continue to encourage them to work towards a resumption of talks and stands ready to discuss how we can support progress. This will require tough choices and compromises but with political will, we judge that a settlement remains within reach, concludes the Foreign Office letter.

The initial letter was co-signed by the refugees from the occupied northern part of Cyprus and active members of the 300,000-strong UK Cypriot community Messrs Doros Partasides, Antonis Savvides, Andreas Tambourides Leonidas Leonidou, George Pippas, Nicos Savvides, Tasos Poyiatzis, Seraphim Diakou, Yiannis Kouvaros, Spiros Neofytou and Mrs Stella Dinenis.

Source: Cyprus News Agency