UK supports ‘just, lasting’ solution in Cyprus

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LONDON

The UK supports a “comprehensive, just and lasting resolution of the Cyprus problem,” a British government statement said ahead of unofficial talks that are to commence on Tuesday in Geneva.

“Tomorrow’s talks offer an opportunity to restart negotiations aimed at delivering a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue, and we hope that all parties approach them with creativity and flexibility,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

He said: “The UK is a strong supporter of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue which remains key to resolving wider tensions in the region.”

The UN-led unofficial Cyprus conference will start in Geneva with the attendance of Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders and foreign ministers of three guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

The Turkish side is expected to set out a model of a solution at the talks in Geneva in which the two states will cooperate on the island on the basis of sovereign equality.

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.

The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.

The 5+1 meeting will conclude on April 29.

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