Cyprus

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1979.

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Photo of Mr Norman Atkinson Mr Norman Atkinson , Haringey Tottenham 12:00 am, 17th January 1979

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why the United Kingdom abstained from voting, following the recent debates on Cyprus at the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

The United Kingdom, together with most of its EEC partners, did not vote for the General Assembly resolution on Cyprus because it was not thought to be conducive to the resumption of intercommunal negotiations. My right hon. Friend welcomes the indications that, following a great deal of diplomatic activity, in which he and I have been closely involved, and a great deal of supporting detailed work by Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials, these talks may well soon be resumed under the auspices of Dr. Waldheim.

Photo of Mr Norman Atkinson Mr Norman Atkinson , Haringey Tottenham

Does my hon. Friend recognise that the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cypriot territory has nothing to do with the intercommunal talks? Does he further recognise that yesterday in the House the Prime Minister announced that West Germany would open discussions with the Turkish Government to resuscitate the Turkish economy and make it possible for Turkish troops to continue their occupation of the island? Does my hon. Friend agree that that is unpre- cedented in post-war history? The United Nations has called upon a Government to withdraw occupying troops, and yet here we have four major world powers making it possible for Turkey to continue that occupation, in denial of the decision of the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

I am sure that on reflection my hon. Friend will agree that the preservation and health of democracy in Turkey is of great significance to the whole Western community. In that context I am sure he will agree that it is important that the Westtern community takes seriously its economic relations with Turkey. As for the situation in Cyprus, I point out to my hon. Friend that if we want results, in terms of the withdrawal of the Turkish army, this is most likely to be found in the context of an overall settlement.