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18 July, 2024
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UK parties to support Cyprus reunification ahead of election

50 years after invasion, UK parties support Cyprus reunification

Newsroom / CNA

UK political parties have responded to a call by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK to pledge their support for a free and reunified Cyprus, as stipulated in relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Ahead of the 4th July general election and in a summer that marks 50 years since the Turkish invasion and beginning of the ongoing occupation of the northern part of the island, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have issued statements of support for Cyprus.

In a recorded message to the UK Cypriot community, the Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden said that “the Conservatives will always support Cypriots in their efforts to reach a just, lasting and balanced settlement to reunite their island, we know how painful it is for many Cypriots that the island has been divided for almost 50 years and settlement will benefit all Cypriots and should be based on UN resolutions for a bizonal, bicommunal federal state, safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.”

He also paid tribute to the “success and contribution” of the British Cypriot community and welcomed work done by the pro-Cypriot candidate MP for Chipping Barnet Theresa Villiers and other colleagues in Parliament to support the Cypriot cause. He added that he was sure more candidates in north London, like Ameet Jogia and Alex Deane, will carry on that work as well.

It is worth noting that the Conservatives have once more included a reference to Cyprus in their election manifesto. Under the ‘Leadership in the world’ chapter the manifesto promises that the party would “redouble” its efforts to achieve a “diplomatic breakthrough” in Cyprus among other conflicts.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Europe Stephen Doughty said he was proud of the vibrant Cypriot community in the UK, as well as the “close, historic and strategic links” between the two countries, which a Labour government would work “assiduously” to deepen.

“This is of course a critical and challenging year for all Cypriots during the 50th anniversary,” Doughty added.

“Not least given the UK's role as a guarantor power, a Labour Government would work with all parties and regional allies to build the foundations for a lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the reunification of Cyprus on the basis of the political equality of all communities,” he noted.

He also spoke of a new impetus to this process given by the appointment of the UN Secretary General's Personal Envoy for Cyprus.

“Labour will always advocate for the security, sovereignty and prosperity of Cyprus… If elected, a Labour Government would get around the table and put in the hard diplomatic yards and fulfil our role as a guarantor, ally and friend to all Cypriots,” concluded the Labour Shadow Minister for Europe.

In a statement on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, the party’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran said that “the Liberal Democrats believe that Cyprus will best succeed as an independent and reunited state on the basis of reconciliation and equality for the fundamental rights of both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities."

"We call for the two communities to reach an agreement on the reunification of Cyprus; we believe that the internationally recommended model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, with a federal government with single international sovereignty and citizenship, is the best way to achieve this,” she noted.

She added that a solution should be in line with UN Security Council resolutions and High Level agreements, respecting the rule of law and the fundamental rights of all Cypriots.

“We believe that positive engagement between the two sides and communities should be the first step to a mutually acceptable agreement on the security needs of both Cypriot communities. We therefore urge all parties to seek a just and sustainable resolution to this long-running dispute which has caused such misery over so many years,” concluded the Liberal Democrat politician.

National Federation of Cypriots in the UK President Christos Karaolis said that “we are grateful to the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats for their statements and their unequivocal re-affirmation of the agreed UN basis for the solution in Cyprus.”

He added the Federation were also delighted to see at least 50 candidate MPs signing the ‘Cyprus Pledge Card’.

By that they pledge to: advocate for the resumption of talks and a solution Cyprus, based on UN Security in Council Resolutions and EU acquis; commit to uphold all UN Security Council Resolutions relating Cyprus and not to support actions that undermine or violate them; ensure the UK's longstanding non-recognition of the regime in the north of Cyprus is not undermined; continue to strengthen the strategic partnership between the UK and the Republic of Cyprus, including within the framework of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding.

“We urge all UK-Cypriots to discuss our Cyprus pledge card with their parliamentary candidates, support candidates that have demonstrated their support for Cyprus and to ensure that to go and vote on 4 July,” Karaolis concluded.

Cyprus  |  UK

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