The UK government is fully behind a resumption of talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem, British High Commissioner to Cyprus Irfan Siddiq told President Nikos Christodoulides.
The two men met at the Presidential Palace on Friday, March 17, for the first time after Christodoulides’ election as President.
In statements to journalists after the meeting, the UK High Commissioner said that he congratulated Christodoulides on assuming his duties and noted that he was looking forward as the whole of the British government to continuing to work with him.
Siddiq also stated that they discussed ways to strengthen UK-Cyprus bilateral relations, as well as the need to move on from the strategic cooperation agreement signed last November to more practical measures to improve the relationship.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, the High Commissioner noted that President Christodoulides expressed his will to relaunch negotiations.
“I expressed the UK government’s full support for his initiative and we agreed to work together to try to make progress on this and to work to bring the other side, the Turkish Cypriot, Turkey, back to the table for our common aim for a settlement on the basis of all the UN parameters, of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with full political equality,” Siddiq said.
He added that “it is going to be a little bit challenging because the other side is in a different place, but I think that we’re all convinced that we can work together in a creative and energetic way to try to bring the other side back to the table and make progress on this vital issue.”
Concluding, Siddiq said that the UK will do everything possible to support the efforts to resume negotiations, while stressing that he didn’t think that the UK should be dictating, imposing or suggesting things that are not what the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaderships want.