Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Republic of Cyprus counterpart on the reopening of the crossings between Northern Cyprus and the Republic.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

On 14 May the Foreign Secretary raised the reopening of the crossing points with his Republic of Cyprus counterpart. Our High Commissioner in Nicosia and his staff have also been in contact with officials across the island on the issue of the crossing points, encouraging crossings to re-open.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, unilateral action was taken by both sides over the crossing points, which effectively temporarily ended the free movement of Cypriots across the island. This pandemic has highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two communities, in particular, through the bi-communal technical committees. We welcomed the agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders that Turkish Cypriot students, Turkish Cypriot workers and Maronites would be able to cross the Green Line from 8 June. We urge both sides to take the appropriate action at the checkpoints to enable Cypriots to be able to travel across their own island unrestricted, as they could before the COVID-19 crisis. This is vital for bi-communal interaction in support of a settlement.

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