The UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has made clear that the British Government wants the Cyprus issue to be resolved within the UN framework, which calls for a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
In remarks made on Sunday evening at the annual Conservative Friends of Cyprus reception, on the inaugural day of the ruling Conservative Party’s conference in Manchester, Mr Cleverly said: “We have great relations with Cyprus. We have great relations with Turkey, and what of course we want to see is this resolved through negotiations in line with the framework. This is the conversation I had on my recent visit to Ankara and I can give you an assurance that we will continue working passionately to try and resolve this long-standing issue and not allow it just to drift. Just because something has been the case for a little while doesn’t mean that we should give up on the desire to get a resolution and we will continue working on that.”
The Foreign Secretary referred to his recent meeting with the new Cypriot Foreign Minister Dr Konstantinos Kombos, “a tall, good looking guy”, as he joked, with whom they “hit it off”, producing some “serious work” on the bilateral relations from their very first face-to-face meeting in London a few months ago.
Mr Cleverly gave particular emphasis to the “instantaneous, positive” and “decisive” support he government of Cyprus gave in the UK nationals’ evacuation operation from Sudan. He described this support as a perfect example of friendship and close cooperation between the two countries.
He also praised the “incredibly positive” contribution of the Cypriot diaspora in the UK, as well as the “outstanding” Cypriot High Commissioner Andreas Kakouris.
Mr Cleverly also congratulated the Republic of Cyprus on the 63rd anniversary of its establishment, which coincided with the event on Sunday.
Mr Kakouris on his part, in asking for the continuing support of Cyprus’ friends in the UK, stated that that “Cyprus matters”. He referred to the ever stronger bilateral relationship between Cyprus and the UK, as highlighted by the MoU signed last November. He then underlined the contribution of the “large and loud” UK Cypriot community.
The Cypriot diplomat also lamented the lack of progress on the Cyprus issue due to the challenges posed by Turkey’s support for a “two-state solution”. As he remarked, “there are not two states or two people in Cyprus.” Mr Kakouris then thanked the UK Government for its “very clear” position that a settlement must be based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
The Conservative Friends of Cyprus Honorary President Theresa Villiers MP said: “We must never let up on the pursuit for a just and balanced negotiated settlement in Cyprus… a free and united Cyprus is a matter of urgency and should be seen as such by the UN and the international community.”
The significant role of the Cypriot community in the UK in general and in promoting the Conservative Party’s links with Cyprus, as well as the support the UK can offer in achieving a just settlement, were underlined on behalf of the Conservative Friends of Cyprus by its officials and members George Hadjipavli (on behalf of the organisation’s Chairman Jason Charalambous), Andreas Papaevripides, Doros Partasides and Andre Chris.

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