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Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government’s policy is on the implementation of the proposal of the UN Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari to start discussions on the technical committees and working groups as delineated in the agreement between President Papadopoulos of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leader of 8 July 2006; for what reasons the process has not yet started; and what steps the Government are taking to make progress on the process. (142117)

The Government welcomed the 8 July 2006 agreement brokered by former UN Under Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari, and remains fully supportive of the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Representative in Cyprus, Michael Moller, to launch the technical committees and working groups. The recent report of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus (accessible at: outlines in detail the reasons why this process has not yet started. The key obstacle is disagreement between the two sides on what constitutes a day-to-day matter, and the mechanisms for resolving disagreements.

We are disappointed at the lack of progress to date and have raised our concerns at the highest levels. We consider that the status quo is unacceptable and that negotiations on a final political solution have been at an impasse for too long. Time is not on the side of a settlement. We will continue to urge both sides to show the political will and flexibility to bridge the gap between words and deeds, and to engage constructively with the UN’s efforts to broker a comprehensive and durable settlement.