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Volume 699: debated on Tuesday 19 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, given that the United Kingdom is a guarantor power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, they have authorised the police in the United Kingdom to pursue normal international co-operation with the police in Northern Cyprus; how such co-operation operates in light of the United Kingdom's lack of recognition of, and normal relations with, Northern Cyprus; and whether the Northern Cyprus authorities reciprocate that co-operation at all times. [HL1736]

The UK maintains a dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot community on a range of issues, including international organised crime. We have urged the Turkish Cypriot leadership to tighten anti-money-laundering controls and welcome recent steps in this direction. While we do not recognise the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, we have co-operated informally on a number of specific cases that have a direct impact on the UK. Co-operation has generally been good and has made a real contribution to our fight against organised crime.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Given that the United Kingdom is a guarantor power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, what recent discussions they have held with the Government of Greece on the removal of Greek troops and heavy armaments from Cyprus. [HL1737]

The continued presence of foreign troops in Cyprus, and the wider issue of security, can only be fully addressed as part of a UN-brokered comprehensive settlement to reunite the island. In our role of supporting progress towards a settlement, the Government continue to discuss issues relevant to a future settlement, including that of security, with all parties.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they plan to develop a relationship with the Olive Group of 10 Mediterranean states to influence any future reunification of Cyprus and foster closer links between the European Union and the government of Turkey. [HL1908]

The focus of the UK's policy towards Cyprus remains a comprehensive settlement achieved under the auspices of the UN. While we do not intend to develop a relationship with the Olive Group in that specific context, we will continue to work with each member to encourage support for the UN's efforts to achieve a comprehensive and viable Cyprus settlement. 2008 presents an opportunity to make decisive progress towards the reunification of Cyprus, and it is essential that all Cypriots, supported by the wider international community, engage with the UN's efforts.

We continue to support fully Turkey's accession to the EU, conditional on its meeting all its obligations, including the full implementation of the Ankara Agreement Protocol. We share this view with the majority of members of the Olive Group, and we encourage them to play a full part in Turkey's accession process.