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House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2011.

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Photo of Lord Rea Lord Rea Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to encourage dialogue between the Government of Turkey and Kurdish leaders aimed at resolving the conflict in south-eastern Turkey; and what is the likely impact of the discovery of mass graves in Turkey on the resolution of that conflict.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

Our embassy in Ankara regularly raises the Kurdish issue with the Government of Turkey in wider discussions on human rights. The EU General Affairs Council conclusions of 14 December 2010 called on Turkey to follow up on the democratic opening. This is aimed at facilitating progress on minority rights, including the Kurdish issue.

The Government have not made an assessment of the impact of the discovery of mass graves in Turkey on the resolution of the Kurdish issue. We do, however, support thorough investigations into this matter. We encourage the Turkish authorities and Kurdish community to work together for justice and to use this development to prompt further work on improving Kurdish rights in Turkey.

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