The UK Government’s position on the Cyprus settlement model and the non-recognition of the illegal entity in the occupied part of the island has been reaffirmed by two Foreign Office Ministers who were responding to parliamentary questions.

In the House of Lords Minister Lord Ahmad said that “we remain committed to supporting UN efforts to reach a just and lasting Cyprus settlement within the UN parameters based on the model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality and we engage all parties on this.”

He was responding to a question by the Marquess of Lothian on the current state of relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and whether the UK has new proposals on confidence-building measures.

Lord Ahmad added that while there remained differences between the parties’ positions, “we believe that sufficient common ground to start formal negotiations can be found.”

He also said that details of a settlement and any interim confidence building measures were for the leaders of the two communities to decide.

In the House of Commons Conservative MP Paul Bristow asked about the potential impact on trade in the eastern Mediterranean of recognising the “trnc”, referring to the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, which the UN describes as “legally invalid” and no country except Turkey recognises it.

Minister for Europe Leo Docherty stated that in accordance with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK “does not recognise the self-declared ‘trnc’ as an independent state”.

He added that “the UK recognises the Republic of Cyprus as the sovereign authority for the island of Cyprus. Several UN Security Council resolutions, other multilateral agreements also limit links between the UK and the north of Cyprus. We continue to believe that a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus is the best means of resolving the difficulties caused by the division of the island.”

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