British High Commissioner to Cyprus Matthew Kidd has expressed hope that the new round of talks set to begin in the coming weeks in an effort to solve the Cyprus problem will be successful, noting that Britain will continue trying to help the two sides understand the preoccupations of each other and find ways around the difficulties.

Speaking after a meeting with President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, Kidd said he “came to talk to the President about things that the UK and Cyprus are doing together and to check that he is content with the direction that some of that collaboration is going in and I believe he is.”

Asked what Britain’s view was about the new phase of negotiations on the Cyprus issue, Kidd expressed hope that this new start will work.

“I hope that the intention that the President has clearly stated that this should be a new start, with new energy and new ideas, will be able to work. My impression is that the parties are preparing for the resumption next month seriously and that is what it should be and I hope that it leads forward quickly and well,” he said.

Asked about the government’s proposal on Famagusta, Kidd said “it would be wonderful to have Famagusta returned.”

“I think it is a big job, it is not something that you could do with a turn of a switch from one day to the next but leading towards this again as quickly as can happen will certainly have a remarkable effect on the climate of the negotiations more generally,” he added.

Asked if one could expect that the proposal for Famagusta will be part of a new dynamic for the two sides to show good will, Kidd said “one needs to talk to the parties directly inside the negotiations to get a view of that,” adding that he did not think that “from where we sit we can have that sense of exactly how well it could work.”

Invited to say what Britain could do to help, Kidd said “all we can do, what we always try to do, is to be in touch with both sides to help each side to understand some of the real preoccupations of the other, to help them to resolve the problems, to find ways around the well-known difficulties in order to help them to get somewhere.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Leave a Reply