The UK “has no intention to begin directly importing products” from the occupied part of Cyprus, Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations, Lord Ahmad has stated in response to a question in the House of Lords.
The question was posed by the Conservative Lord Hannah, who wanted to know whether the UK Government intended “to start directly importing Turkish Cypriot products, including fresh produce from the ‘trnc’ ” in a reference to the illegal regime set up by Turkey in the island’s occupied areas.
Dismissing such a prospect, the Foreign Minister noted that “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 pointed to several UN Security Council resolutions and other multilateral agreements which also “limit links between UK and the north”.
In conclusion, Lord Ahmad stated: “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.”
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.