Britain ready to engage in Cyprus conference

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The UK Government is ready to engage in any meetings to support the Cyprus reunification process, European Neighbourhood Minister Wendy Morton told the National Federation of UK Cypriots.

The Foreign Office Minister welcomes the UN Secretary General’s “continued willingness to work with the parties to conduct in-depth consultations on a way forward and echo his hope that ongoing consultations will lead to a return to negotiations.”

She said the UK continues to support those consultations through dialogue with the parties and the UN Secretary General’s envoy, Jane Holl Lute, with whom officials are “in regular contact”.

UN chief Antonio Guterres is exploring the possibility of convening an informal five-plus-UN meeting with the parties (including Greece and Turkey) at an appropriate stage.

Cypriot leaders told Lute during her visit Tuesday that they will respond positively to the invitation.

“We continue to urge all sides to engage constructively and demonstrate they are committed to making progress towards a settlement as a matter of urgency,” said Morton.

She made the comments in a letter to the Federation’s President Christos Karaolis as a response to his correspondence to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the ‘black anniversary’ of UDI in the north on 15 November.

The Minister reassured Karaolis that the British Government continues to be a strong supporter of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

New Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar is an advocate for a two-state solution on Cyprus.

Morton said the issue of Varosha underlines the importance of reaching a comprehensive Cyprus settlement as a matter of urgency.

She stated the UK continues to be concerned by the situation in Varosha, including the opening of the beach within the fenced-off area on 8 October.

UK representations have been made to Turkey via various diplomatic avenues.