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Cyprus: Community Relations

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 365W, on Cyprus: community relations, when he last made representations to Turkey over meeting the award of the European Court of Human Rights in the Arestes case; and if he will make a statement. (252877)

The issue was last discussed at senior official level at the start of January 2009 and at ministerial level during my visit to Turkey in December 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, columns 378-80W, on UN Cyprus Committee on Missing Persons, when he expects to make a final decision as to whether to make further donations to the UN Cyprus Committee on Missing Persons; and if he will make a statement. (252878)

The UK has donated £109,000 to the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) over the past four years. In addition the UK leases the land on which the CMP laboratory is situated for a nominal £1 rent per year. The Government have no plans for further donations at present.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 363W, on Cyprus: community relations; if he will make an estimate of the number of (a) Turkish nationals (excluding the armed forces) and (b) Turkish militia living in northern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. (252879)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 362W, on Cyprus: community relations, if he will make an estimate of the (a) number and (b) ages of the enclaved Greek Cypriots living in Karpai; and if he will make a statement. (252880)

There are no Government estimates of the number and average age of anyone living in the Karpas peninsula. We have no means of independently estimating the number in either case.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 361-2W, on Cyprus: community relations, if he will make representations to the Turkish Army in North Cyprus to permit Maronites to visit Agia Marina; and if he will make a statement. (252881)

The Government are aware of the difficulties faced by the Maronite community in Cyprus in accessing their villages of origin, including the villages of Agia Marina. Ultimately, these issues occur as a result of the political situation on the island, and will only be fully resolved by a comprehensive settlement to reunite the island. We will continue to engage with the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities and all other parties as necessary, including Turkey, to support progress towards a settlement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 362W, on Cyprus: community relations, when he last discussed the issue of the enclaved Greek Cypriots in the Karpas in the Committee of Ministers in the Council of Europe; what representations he made; and if he will make a statement. (252884)

My right hon. Friend has not discussed the problems faced by Greek Cypriots living in the Karpas in the Committee of Ministers. However Ministers’ deputies regularly discuss issues arising out of the 2001 Cyprus v. Turkey judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in their quarterly meetings supervising execution of ECHR judgments. These include property rights of the enclaved. The last such discussion was 2-4 December 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 369W, on Cyprus: press, how much the High Commission has spent on advertising in newspapers owned by Asil Nadir in northern Cyprus in each of the last three years. (252915)

For the period April 2007 to March 2008 the high commission spent GBP £1,315 advertising in Kibris and Cyprus Today which are both owned by Asil Nadir. The sum spent since April 2008 is GBP £1,075.20. The high commission advertises in these newspapers as they are the biggest selling papers in their market. A recent estimate showed Kibris accounting for 49 per cent. of newspaper sales in the north.