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Volume 684: debated on Friday 14 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In what way the isolation of northern Cyprus has been reduced since Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of the Annan plan for a settlement in Cyprus; and what steps the European Union has taken to reduce this isolation.[HL6752]

In recognition of their support for reunification in the 2004 referenda, EU Foreign Ministers agreed to lift the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. Since then, the EU has agreed €139 million of financial aid to bring them closer to the EU in pursuit of a settlement. Financial aid is only a first step and we are supporting the Commission and the presidency in their attempts to find a mechanism for the Turkish Cypriots to trade directly with the EU.

We also welcome the opening of new crossing points on the green line and amendments to the green line regulation that better facilitate trade between the two sides.