Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 12th March 2002.

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Photo of Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Trade), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister for Trade and Investment and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords (also Department of Trade and Industry), Minister of State (Trade and Investment) Deputy Leader of the House of Lords (also FCO) 2:30 pm, 12th March 2002

No, my Lords, emphatically not on the last point—emphatically not. Of course it would be better for the two sides to reach agreement and I believe that the statement of the two leaders, Mr Clerides and Mr Denktas, following the 4th December meeting, made clear that the talks in the United Nations framework at the invitation of the UN Secretary-General and with the help of the special adviser, Mr Alvaro de Soto, were talks in which they were prepared to engage in good faith.

The Secretary-General has requested that we do not discuss publicly the detail of the negotiations—either past negotiations or those currently under way. I believe that that request should be respected. Of course there are difficult issues and we all understand that. However, we have a specific request from the Secretary-General on this issue and I hope that the difficulties which the two sides face will be successfully resolved.