UK Minister for Europe Leo Docherty has reaffirmed the British support for a settlement to the long-standing Cyprus issue based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation as described within the UN parameters, commenting that they are “sufficiently flexible” to facilitate an agreement which addresses the priorities of both sides.

He was responding to a written parliamentary question by Labour Shadow Europe Minister Stephen Doughty about the Foreign Office’s recent assessment of the adequacy of progress towards “a lasting resolution of the Cyprus issue, the agreement of a bizonal, bicameral federation with political equality and adherence to UN Security Council resolutions.”

In his reply Docherty said that “the UK is committed to supporting the UN-led process to reach a Cyprus Settlement. We continue to believe that the existing UN parameters of a Bi-zonal, Bi-communal Federation with political equality are sufficiently flexible to facilitate an agreement which addresses the priorities of both sides.”

He went on to reiterate that the appointment of Holguín as the UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy on Cyprus is “an important step” and that the British government welcomes her engagement so far.

Holguin is expected to visit London at the beginning of March.

The UK Minister for Europe added that in January his country led the drafting of a UN Security Council resolution which reaffirmed existing resolutions and called upon the leaders to improve implementation where appropriate.

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.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

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