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Cyprus: Land Mines

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the Government contributed to the removal of land mines in Cyprus; how much other countries or organisations have contributed; how much further funding is required to complete the work; if he will consider further contributions to bridge any outstanding funding gap; and if he will make a statement. (245055)

The work to remove landmines in the buffer zone has been largely funded by the EU to the sum of €9m. (The UK contributes approximately 15 per cent. to the EU budget).

However there have also been donations of $25,000 from Slovenia and $250,000 from Canada. On 17 December the UN announced a donation of €15,000 from Hungary.

The funds required to complete the clearance of landmines in the buffer zone stand at €5m (less the donation of €15,000 from Hungary).

We have not yet made a final decision as to whether or not to make further donations to bridge the outstanding funding gap.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made in Cyprus on the removal of land mines in (a) the buffer zone, (b) areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus government and (c) the Turkish occupied areas; and if he will make a statement. (245056)

To date, the UNDP “Landmine and Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Project” has released 6.5 million square meters of land, clearing 51 minefields and disposing of 9,163 landmines. The project has also played an important role in the opening of crossing points between the two communities, such as Ledra Street.