The UK remains a “strong supporter” of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus issue based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, a government source in London has said.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, asked whether London continues to accept the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation as the best settlement model for Cyprus, the source replied: “Yes, we still think that is the best thing.”
Meanwhile, four organisations representing the Cypriot diaspora in the UK have issued a joint statement expressing strong support for UN Security Council resolution 2561 (2021), passed unanimously on January 29, which reiterates that the basis for a solution to the Cyprus issue is a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.
“We are clear that a solution to the Cyprus issue must reunify the island and its people, and be based on UNSC resolutions, as well as principles of International Law and Human Rights,” reads the statement by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, the Turkish Cypriot Association for Democracy, the UK branch of the Republican Turkish Party and the UK-based Platform for Peace and Federal Cyprus.
Local media latched onto the fact that the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refrained from specifically referring to a bizonal bicommunal solution in his statements following his contacts in Nicosia earlier this month. In a Twitter post following his meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia last Thursday, Raab said “the UK is committed to supporting a just and lasting solution to the division of Cyprus,” and said he reiterated to Anastasiades that the “UK support and urge an open and flexible approach to Cyprus Settlement talks.”
Speculation has been growing recently over new ideas being brought forward backstage by the UK as mobility intensifies in light of the informal five-party summit on the Cyprus Problem expected to be organized by the UN Secretary General next month. Media reports suggest that the UK, in its contacts with the leaders of both sides, had presented a framework that attempted to bridge the differences between the two sides, and particularly the north’s insistence on political and sovereign equality.
While the informal summit was expected to be held in New York in early March, an official confirmation of the date and location has yet to be issued, mainly due to pandemic-related complications but local media have also suggested that Turkey is exerting pressure to get the summit pushed back to after the EU summit in March, where EU leaders are set to re-examine the matter of sanctions against Turkey. Reports have suggested that Turkey exhibiting a constructive and flexible stance as regards the Cyprus Problem and its exploratory contacts with Greece in a bid to score points with the bloc.
On Monday, the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis got confirmation from the UNSG’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute that the informal Cyprus Problem summit won’t be held on March 1-3, as initially planned, with the UN now eyeing dates later in March.
The informal summit won’t feature any meaty negotiations, but will allow the UNSG to assess whether conditions are ripe for a resumption of formal talks, which could take place as early as this summer.