Jo Swinson has called on the Government to work toward a peaceful settlement between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
In a Parliamentary debate this week, Jo called upon the British Government, which is an important player in peace negotiations between the Greek-Cypriot Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, to take an even-handed approach on the issue. She urged the Government not to miss this window of opportunity – while leaders of both the North and South are in favour reunification – which is expected to end in April, when nationalists are likely to win the Presidential election in the Turkish-Cypriot North.
Jo called on the Government to meet with both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities in the UK, in order to foster consensus and confidence between them. She also asked Foreign Minister Chris Bryant to reassure Turkish-Cypriots that Gordon Brown’s meeting with Greek-Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias this week, which coincided with the beginning of a British High Court hearing of a controversial case over property in North Cyprus which was expropriated from Greek-Cypriots in the 1970s, was not in indication that the Prime Minister was taking sides in the case.
Commenting, Jo said:
“Cyprus has been divided for far too long, and the longer that division lasts, the more likely it will never be united. In many ways the prospects for a settlement have never looked better, with leaders on both sides favouring reunification, but that may not last for much longer and it is vital that we grasp this opportunity to reach a deal.”
“As an important partner in the negotiation process, the UK is in a good position to try and move things forward, but we must take a fair and even-handed approach. Cypriot communities in the UK must also be a part of that process.”