UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that his government would continue working to resolve the Cyprus problem quickly.
Cleverly addressed a traditional event to welcome the new year organised by the Conservative Friends of Cyprus in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster this week.
Addressing the guests, Cleverly thanked the Cypriots for their “huge and enduring contribution” to British society.
“I also want to reaffirm our understandable desire to get a resolution to this very long-standing issue because this is a friction which I think nobody should want to see continue.
“And we will continue to work to bring a lasting, peaceful resolution to this, and I sincerely hope that can be something that can be achieved while I am in the post,” said Cleverly.
He pointed out that this means he wants the issue resolved “sooner rather than later” and not to necessarily see his time in post massively extended.
On behalf of the Conservative Friends of Cyprus, its Executive Chair Jason Charalambous asked the Foreign Secretary for “clarity of message” that the UK supports the reunification of Cyprus.
The organisation’s President and north London MP Theresa Villiers said it is important that pro-Cypriot MPs “are pledged to campaign for a free and united Cyprus”.
The Cypriot High Commissioner Andreas Kakouris said: “Peace is not the absence of war; it is the presence of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and in my country, that is missing because of the continued Turkish occupation.”
The Conservative Party Vice-Chair Saqib Bhatti and Dr Matthew Offord MP addressed the guests.
Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Nikitas reminded everyone of their obligation to work against every form of injustice and promote truth and justice.
The Greek Ambassador to the UK, Ioannis Raptakis, also attended the event.