After the opening session of the Conference I held a series of separate meetings with the representatives of Greece and Turkey and of the two Cypriot communities, with a view to finding a common basis for the discussion of the problem.
Although the approaches of the two communities remained radically different, some useful progress was made on a number of points.
However, it soon became evident—as was expected—that the task of reaching agreement was going to be difficult and protracted. In the meantime the situation in Cyprus has been growing extremely tense, which inevitably increases the danger of a renewal of the earlier disorders.
In these circumstances we felt it desirable that the present peace-keeping force should be enlarged by the participation of additional countries. Negotiations to this end are now proceeding. I hope the House will forgive me if I do not go into greater detail at this juncture. I will make a further statement as soon as practicable.
Has the right hon. Gentleman had endorsement from Cyprus of any arrangements which have been made for an international force? Particularly, will he say whether this matter has been discussed with U Thant, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with a view to getting United Nations authority for any steps which are taken?
I have been in fairly constant touch with all the Governments concerned, but I have not yet had a formal reaction from the Government of Cyprus about this proposal. With regard to the United Nations, as the hon. Member knows we have throughout wanted to keep the United Nations fully informed about the state of the problem and of the situation in Cyprus. As evidence of that, we have arranged with the Secretary-General to have a representative in Cyprus, General Gyani, who is there as this moment.