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Volume 892: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in pursuance of their responsibility as guarantor Power to maintain security in the island of Cyprus, Her Majesty's Government will have discussions with the Turkish Government designed to secure the protection, supervision and maintenance of the churches, icons and antiquities of Cyprus, and to ensure the freedom of movement for each of those persons deputed with the task of inspecting, identifying and preserving the churches, religious symbols and the antiquities forming part of the civilisation of Cyprus.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations within UNESCO designed to secure the preservation of the churches, icons and antiquities in Cyprus and freedom of movement for those responsible for action in this field to travel, inspect and supervise every church or object which is necessary to the pursuit of their responsibilities.

UNESCO has taken cognisance of this problem. Two senior UNESCO officials visited Cyprus and inspected sites in both Greek and Turkish-held areas and reported to the Director-General of UNESCO. It is for the Director-General to consider their recommendations for further action.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with the Greek and Turkish Governments to facilitate the reopening of Nicosia Airport; what proposals there are to secure that there is an effective management; whether Her Majesty's Government have offered as guarantor Power any assistance to ensure the full operation of the airport; and if he will make a statement.

I am glad to say that agreement was reached at the Vienna talks for the United Nations to repair the airport as the first measure towards its eventual reopening for civilian use. Her Majesty's Government have made available, at no cost to the United Nations, an assessment team to survey the requirements and draw up plans for repair.