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Cyprus: Community Relations

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of relations between northern and southern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. (276496)

The international community strongly supports the efforts of the two leaders to reunify the island of Cyprus. Last month, the UN Security Council

“strongly urged the leaders to increase the momentum in the negotiations to ensure the full exploitation of this opportunity”.

We are pleased that the two leaders have since intensified their efforts, agreeing to meet more frequently. We welcome the progress already made both in the talks and in confidence building measures. We applaud the recent launch of the bicommunal sub-committee on crime and criminal matters, which will help the fight against organised crime by sharing information. We look forward to early progress on all other confidence building measures agreed between the leaders. The leaders face many challenges but we are confident that, with flexibility and compromise on both sides, they will be able to resolve this long-standing issue, setting an example to the world and reaping the many economic, social and political benefits that a settlement will bring to all Cypriots. It is important that all Cypriots, not just politicians, come together to help create the right environment for a solution.