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Cyprus

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent contact the British high commission in Cyprus has had with Turkish Cypriots living in the south of Cyprus; and if she will make a statement. (95204)

While our high commission in Nicosia monitors the situation of Turkish Cypriots living in southern Cyprus, the regularity of contact has decreased since the opening of the Green Line. Freedom of movement across the island has now greatly increased, with over 10 million crossings since its opening in 2003, granting greater access to these communities by Turkish Cypriots in northern Cyprus. None the less, our high commission in Nicosia maintains contact with Cypriot civil society south of the Green Line, including Turkish Cypriots.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the British high commission in Cyprus last visited enclaved Greek Cypriots living in the (a) north of Cyprus and (b) Karpas Peninsula; and if she will make a statement. (95205)

Prior to the opening of the Green Line, our high commission in Nicosia maintained frequent contact with Greek Cypriots living in northern Cyprus, including those in the Karpas Peninsula. Freedom of movement across the island has now greatly increased, with over 10 million crossings since its opening in 2003, granting greater access to these communities from Greek Cypriots south of the Green Line. Their interests are now protected by both the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and representatives of the Cyprus Government. Our high commission in Nicosia no longer maintains the same frequency of contact, but does stay in touch with both the Cyprus Government and UNFICYP regarding the situation. A representative of the high commission visited the UN Police Force in the Karpas to discuss the welfare of Greek Cypriots in northern Cyprus on 14 May 2006. A meeting with the community is planned to take place shortly.