UK Minister for European Neighbourhood Wendy Morton has reaffirmed her government’s “strong support” towards the divided Mediterranean island’s reunification.
In a letter this week to President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Christos Karaolis, Morton also said that a settlement should be based “on the internationally accepted model of a bi- zonal, bi-communal federation”.
And she assured that London encourages all sides “to engage constructively and demonstrate they are committed to making progress towards a settlement.”
Morton’s letter comes as a response to a letter by Karaolis addressed to Boris Johnson to mark the 46th tragic anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
In his letter, the Federation President urged the UK Prime Minister to exercise “proactively and constructively” the power he has to “make a lasting difference” in relation to Cyprus.
On Security and Guarantees, the Foreign Office Minister notes 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 the two Cypriot communities.”
Morton comments that the events of 1974 continue to cast “a long shadow” over Cyprus. “We remain convinced that the best way to address these issues is through a just and lasting settlement on the island,” she adds.
Acknowledging the concerns expressed by Karaolis regarding missing persons in Cyprus, she writes that is remains “a very sensitive aspect” of the Cyprus problem.
She states that the UK shares these concerns, she commends the important work undertaken by the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, and she notes that UK authorities remain in regular contact with the Committee to establish how they may further support its work.
“The UK’s commitment to a deal on Cyprus remains unwavering. Ultimately, it is for the sides to agree on the details of any final deal and will require the support of Greece and Turkey and – importantly – successful referenda in each community,” adds the UK Minister for the European Neighbourhood in her letter to the UK Cypriots’ Federation President.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.