Cyprus

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9 March 1983.

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Photo of Mr Norman Atkinson Mr Norman Atkinson , Haringey Tottenham 12:00, 9 March 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will now seek to raise with the Security Council the question of the continuing military occupation of Cypriot territory by Turkish troops.

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Oxon Mid

We do not intend to raise the Cyprus question at the Security Council. If Cyprus is debated in the United Nations General Assembly our policy will be guided by the need to support the intercommunal talks being held in Nicosia. We believe that these offer the best hope of a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Photo of Mr Norman Atkinson Mr Norman Atkinson , Haringey Tottenham

Does the Minister agree that there will be no agreement at the intercommunal talks without the authority of General Evren's junta in Ankara? Will not the rest of the so-called free world think it a tragedy that this Government in particular, as a guarantor power, are unwilling to raise the question in the United Nations when they know that Turkey has been in breach of United Nations resolutions for nearly nine years? Is it not time for an initiative?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Oxon Mid

No, Sir. The intercommunal talks under the chairmanship of the United Nations representative, Dr. Gobbi, started again yesterday. A debate at the United Nations would not help the talks, and we look to the talks for progress.

Photo of Mr Anthony Beaumont-Dark Mr Anthony Beaumont-Dark , Birmingham, Selly Oak

At the same time, will my right hon. Friend address himself to the matter of the Greek community troops? Will it not cause further racial disharmony to differentiate between the two problems?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Oxon Mid

I think that the withdrawal of the Turkish troops will be part of an eventual settlement, but it must be part of a settlement and not a pre-condition.

Photo of Mr Roland Moyle Mr Roland Moyle , Lewisham East

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we agree with the Government that any solution to the Cyprus problem must be agreed between the communities on the island, and that communal talks are the best way of going about that? Is the Minister further aware that a great and growing number of Greek-speaking Cypriots regard the intercommunal talks as a block to progress on the Cyprus problem? Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that progress is essential and therefore that the Government's attitude should not be one of total detachment from the talks?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Oxon Mid

We are not detached from the talks. We are not parties to them round the table, but we do what we can to help them forward.