A just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem is within reach, and the British Government continues to work towards that goal, Prime Minister Theresa May says in a letter addressed to MP Theresa Villiers and the other MPs who had written to her earlier.
In her letter, dated June 12, May says she appreciates “your kind words about the Government’s support for a settlement,” noting that “last summer in Crans Montana, the two Cypriot leaders and three guarantor powers, supported by the UN Secretary General, came closer than ever before to reaching a settlement.”
“All sides demonstrated remarkable courage and commitment and all parties engaged with serious intent to reach a deal. I share both your disappointment that it was not possible to reach agreement and your assessment that the talks made important progress,” she notes.
May points out that “the Government believes that a just and lasting settlement is within reach, and we continue to work towards that goal.”
“We recognise it will not be straightforward: all sides will need to build trust as they seek to re-start talks, and an agreement will require flexibility and willingness to compromise from all sides,” the Prime Minister says.
She adds that “when we met on 17 April I discussed with President Anastasiades the steps he might take in pursuit of an agreement,” noting that, “while it is ultimately for the Cypriot communities to decide the next steps, we remain ready to support progress towards a settlement in any way we can.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-sponsored peace talks have so far yielded no result. The latest such round, in July last year, ended inconclusively.