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‘No change’ in UK support for federal Cyprus

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The UK Government continues to support a Cyprus settlement based on the model of a bizonal, bicommunal federation despite Turkish Cypriots advocating a two-state solution, a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

During a foreign press briefing on Wednesday, she was asked about the British position on the issue, following interviews given by the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar to British newspapers in which he again advocated a “two-state solution” on the island.

“There is no change in our position (which is) that we continue to support a solution in line with UN parameters, based on the model of a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” the Number 10 official said.

Tatar told the Guardian newspaper: “Things have got worse.

“The Greeks refuse to share power. They think they are masters of this island and that it is a Greek Hellenic Island.

“If we are to resume formal negotiations, we have to have our sovereign equality and status as an independent state recognised.

“There are two states and two people on the island. We have our own culture and ambitions. Reversing the clock back to reunification of the island is absolutely impossible.”

On Tatar’s suggestion that the UK should change policy to establish a direct air link with the Turkish-occupied north, the spokeswoman made clear that “there are no plans” to change the current British position.

On the decision of Turkey to postpone talks with Sweden and Finland about the prospect of the two Scandinavian countries entering NATO, the UK Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said: “We continue to advocate for Sweden and Finland to be part of NATO.

“We think it would make the alliance stronger, and we work with allies on that.”