Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 11th June 2014.

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Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on allegations that some Turkish Cypriots were denied the right to vote in the recent European elections in the Republic of Cyprus.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

We are aware of difficulties experienced by some eligible Turkish Cypriots in the recent European elections in the Republic of Cyprus.

The enfranchisement of eligible Turkish Cypriots in those elections was a positive step towards building confidence between the two communities. It is unfortunate that some Turkish Cypriots then found that they could not vote on the day due to problems in the registration procedure.

Although these problems led to understandable frustrations on polling day, we do not believe that they were due to a deliberate obstruction by the Republic of Cyprus authorities. Indeed, some 58,000 Turkish Cypriots were registered and able to vote.

Ultimately, Turkish Cypriots' access to the full rights of EU membership, including participation in European elections, will best be achieved through a comprehensive settlement. We continue to fully support the leaders of the Cypriot communities in their goal of achieving this.

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