Cyprus: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered at on 20 July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Independent Ulster Unionist

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 2 July (HL5932), what assessment they have made of the difference in the rights of (1) Turkish, and (2) Greek, Cypriots in Cyprus since the 1974 coup d'etat; and to list each meeting the British High Commissioner to Cyprus has had with representatives of (1) Turkish, and (2) Greek, Cypriot communities since 2014.

Photo of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Independent Ulster Unionist

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 2 July (HL5932), whether their agreement with the government of Cyprus on the regulation of non-military development in the Sovereign Base Areas in 2014 was (1) debated in Parliament, and (2) informed by consultation with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The 2014 arrangement on non-military development of the Sovereign Base Areas is a non-legally binding arrangement between the UK Government and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. It was not debated in the UK Parliament. The arrangement was discussed with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community prior to and following its signature.

The Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) report prepared for the draft Policy Statement and zoning maps of the SBAs, all published on 10th June 2020, are the result of extensive engagement and collaboration from 2014 onwards. The public consultation on the SEIA is open to Turkish Cypriots and related documents have been made available in Turkish.

We recognise that the status quo in Cyprus causes serious difficulties for both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, including as a result of dispossession of property, enforced relocation of communities, and the problem of missing persons. We believe that the best way to secure the rights of all Cypriots is through a comprehensive agreement in accordance with UN resolutions.

The High Commissioner continues to engage with representatives and members of the Turkish Cypriot community to answer questions, as do the Sovereign Base Areas Administration. The UK is committed to securing and promoting the rights of all residents and property-owners in the SBAs, regardless of whether they are Greek or Turkish Cypriot, and will continue working with all Cypriots to that end. A complete list of each of the meetings held with the two communities since 2014 is not held, given their frequency.

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