The UK Government’s support for a settlement to the long-standing Cyprus issue based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation has been reiterated by the Minister for Europe at the Foreign Office, Leo Docherty.
He was responding to a question by Theresa Villiers MP during a Foreign Office questions sessions in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon.
The pro-Cypriot Conservative north London MP noted in her question that “there are some striking parallels between the 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey,” as they both involved “aggressive incursions into the sovereign territory of another country.”
She then asked whether the Foreign Secretary would call on Turkey “to remove its troops from Cyprus and enable Cypriots to determine their own future.”
In his response Docherty said that the UK led the international response to Turkish actions in 1974 including through drafting the UN Security Council Resolution 353, which called for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops.
“Of course, the best way to address the situation in Cyprus is through a just and lasting settlement, in line with UN parameters, based on the model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation,” added the minister.
He concluded by assuring that the UK would continue “to actively engage in pursuit of this.”
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.