The UK is a guarantor of Cypriot independence under the 1960 UN treaty, and I was very disappointed to see the latest round of UN-led peace talks end yet again without an agreement earlier this year, as they had done in 2017.
The Island of Cyprus should never have been divided. The illegal 1974 Turkish invasion, occupation and division does not change that. The 2004 Annan Plan saw most Turkish Cypriots voting for reunification in the plan’s referendum. Which reveals the underlying issue – Turkey does not want reunification, for their own political reasons and are interfering in the sovereignty of an independent nation.
The presence of Turkish troops in Cyprus since 1974 has always been a difficult matter to resolve. The UK recognises the sovereign right of Cyprus to its natural resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone and must continue to support those rights and the peaceful reunification of Cyprus. The United Nations, The European Union and the Council of Europe all support the reunification of Cyprus.
Upholding human rights remains high on my agenda and you may know that in 2017 I attended the Parliamentary launch of the Labour Party’s ‘Friends of Cyprus Group’.
I continue to campaign for action to achieve a united, stable, and peaceful future for Cyprus, in and out of Parliament.