Members of the Board of British Cypriots, a Diaspora organisation based in London, has written to the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to convey a New Year’s resolution for “peace, prosperity and stability” in Cyprus, Ukraine and around the world.

The letter comments that Sunak’s rise to the highest political office of Britain is a timely reminder of the contribution of ethnic communities in the modern United Kingdom.

“As British Cypriots, we are proud that our community has contributed to all corners of British life, including the arts and sports, enterprise, commerce and finance, the legal sphere, academia, journalism, and politics,” the authors of the letter say.

They then note that recent developments have rendered it evident that the post-Second World War international order, which championed quintessential British values, such as democracy, freedom of choice and human rights, “has come under attack from an increasingly revanchist constellation of autocrats.”

They reference as a meeting of such autocrats the one that took place on 15 September with the presence of Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ilham Aliyev, Ebrahim Raisi, and Aleksander Lukashenko, drawing parallels between them and the “villains of Marvel”.

The letter juxtaposes these leaders’ “joint contempt for international law” with the UK’s support for Ukraine, backed by UK Cypriots, for whom the Russian invasion “has brought back memories of 20 July 1974.” 

As the letter adds, “both Turkey and Russia used a false pretext to act militarily and unilaterally in the supposed interest of Turkish- and Russian-speaking minorities, respectively. In reality, they have sought to render Cyprus and Ukraine as vassal states, while spreading nothing but horror, death, and destruction.”

The members of the Board of British Cypriots express in more detail their concern with Turkey’s actions beyond the continuing occupation of Cyprus.

They speak of “Erdogan’s obsession of turning Turkey into a neo-Ottoman sultanate threatening dire implications for Turkey’s democracy and the broader region’s stability”, pointing to Ekrem Imamoglu’s sentencing, the undermining of the sanctions against Russia, the support for Aliyev’s “bloodthirsty campaign” in Nagorno-Karabakh, the undermining of stability in Libya and of course the actions in Cyprus.

In particular, the letter refers to the violation of the UN resolution regarding Varosha, Turkey’s persistent refusal to allow the tracing of the fate of the missing people since the 1974 invasion, as well as the decision of the illegal entity in the occupied part of Cyprus to change the driving side on the roads.

“Turkey, like Russia, is a pariah state,” concludes the letter addressed to PM Sunak, who is urged “to use (his) diplomatic powers as Head of Government of one of the world’s most preeminent states in steering the course of history toward this direction) of peace and stability.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

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