We are continuing our efforts to promote the early resumption of the intercommunal talks. Now that the United Nations debate is over, we hope these can be resumed shortly. As for the form of settlement, I have made clear that Her Majesty's Government would accept any arrangement that was agreeable to the island's communities.
Does my right hon. Friend accept that he has earned the warm approval of the House for the way in which the British representative at the United Nations behaved in voting in support of previous resolutions for the total withdrawal of armed forces from Cyprus? Does he accept, secondly, that the best contribution that we can now make to the intercommunal talks would be for us not only to declare our attitude to the withdrawal of troops and the restoration of normality in that island, but to say that we could not foresee an acceptable solution being on a bi-zonal basis? Therefore, if we hope for progress at these talks, should not we now outline to the Governments in Ankara and Athens our attitude towards a bi-zonal solution?
I am grateful for my hon. Friend's congratulations to Mr. Ivor Richard and in respect of the point of view of the Government that Mr. Richard has expressed in the United Nations. It is surely the duty of Her Majesty's Government to support any solution acceptable to the people of Cyprus. It would be unwise for us to try to impose a solution on them which was more specific than our stated commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the island. We shall accept whatever they will accept.
We continue to make representations, both to the Government of Turkey and to the authorities who are in temporary control of parts of Cyprus, about the free movement of people and their right to return to their property and to re-inhabit the areas which are rightfully theirs. But the real message that we have to give to the people is that there is no permanent solution until the new political status of Cyprus is determined.
What is the Government's view of the increased restrictions on movement between north and south in Cyprus? Is it not about time that the Government made a clear statement of their position about the resettlement of the Turkish farming communities in northern Cyprus? Surely this undermines all the diplomatic activity, which both sides of the House support.
The Government have made their position very clear on what the hon. Gentleman refers to as the resettlement of the Turkish population in the north of the island. We have constantly expressed our disapproval of that, if that is taking place. My right hon. Friend and I have both expressed that view to the Government of Turkey and their representatives. The Turkish Government insist that there is no planned migration of Turkish citizens to the north of the island, but that normal seasonal migration, which is always taking place, is going on and that stories of mass migration are grotesquely overstated. We shall go on expressing our view that, were migration of the sort suggested to take place, we should very much deplore it.
Will my right hon. Friend go a little further and acknowledge that there is considerable unrest and fear about the trans-migration between the two communities? Is not it time that we were informed on a more factual basis whether this is taking place and what the Government are doing about it?
It is difficult to be accurate and specific about the migration to which my hon. Friend refers. There have been a number of reports, some in British newspapers, that there is a calculated plan of migration to the north. The Turkish Government insist that that is not the case, but that normal seasonal movements are taking place. All that we can do and will continue to do is to say that, although we understand that seasonal migration is a feature of life in Cyprus, were anything more planned and positive than that to happen we should deeply deplore it.