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Volume 629: debated on Tuesday 17 October 2017

Following the collapse of the Cyprus talks at Crans-Montana in Switzerland in July, there has inevitably been a pause in any further negotiations. We are encouraging all parties to reflect on any steps that they might now take towards constructive future talks.

I thank the Minister for that answer. It is disappointing that the talks have collapsed, but more progress seemed to have been made than at any point previously. Will he continue to work to put the human rights of all Cypriots at the top of the agenda?

Like the hon. Gentleman, we all share the disappointment at the collapse of the talks. As he rightly says, they were as close as they have ever been, perhaps for decades, to reaching a settlement. Getting a unified Cyprus is the principal objective of the talks, in which human rights will of course play their proper part.

The UK Government have made it clear that they are not pressing to retain their status as a guarantor power in Cyprus. Will they advise the other guarantor powers that they should take the same approach?

Along with the UN, we remain flexible as a facilitator to try to bring about a unified Cyprus. However, our sovereign base areas will, of course, remain. They are not subject to negotiation, except in terms of some territory that we might cede, if that were to help.