Skip to main content

Cyprus: Armed Forces

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports of the Turkish navy preventing survey ships operating on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone carrying out their work; what representations he has made on this matter; and if he will make a statement. (245171)

While we have made, and continue to make, our expectations and views clear to Turkey, we continue to urge restraint as further escalation at this time would be very counter-productive.

As a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Republic of Cyprus is within its rights to explore for oil and natural resources within its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. We hope an early solution to the Cyprus problem will allow all Cypriots to benefit from Cyprus’s mineral wealth, and the UK supports all efforts to that end.

I shall continue to follow all developments, and remain committed to supporting efforts to finding a solution in Cyprus.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the effects of recent changes in the higher ranks of the Turkish Army in Cyprus on the prospects for a settlement; and if he will make a statement. (245221)

We are pleased that the two leaders continue to meet on a regular basis to discuss a comprehensive settlement. We continue to work with all parties supporting the settlement process, encouraging flexibility and compromise.