The President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to use her influence on Turkey to make a lasting impact on the reunification of Cyprus.
The letter sent on Friday ahead of the Conference on Cyprus in Switzerland’s Crans Montana, begins by congratulating the British Prime Minister on her return to No. 10 and by extending the UK Cypriot community’s solidarity in view of the recent terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.
Mr Karaolis refers to Cyprus as “a stable and reliable ally for the UK, both in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the European Union.”
He notes the renewed hope that a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue can be reached and adds: “There is no doubt, however, that Cyprus’ reunification depends on Turkey’s willingness to remove its troops from the occupied northern part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, and on its sincere engagement with the United Nations-facilitated process with deeds and not just words.”
He asks for the UK Government’s support in Crans Montana on the key issue of Security and Guarantees. “The UK Cypriot community strongly wishes to see Cyprus reunified and believes that Cyprus’ membership of the United Nations and the European Union provides the best form of security for Cyprus’ sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. No modern, sovereign country has, or should have, another sovereign country as its guarantor. The system of guarantors is anachronistic and outdated and has no place in the modern world,” states the letter.
As for the UK’s role, the Federation President notes that it is a crucial actor not only due to its historic obligation as a Guarantor Power but also due to the sovereign bases on the island and the common membership of the Commonwealth and the EU.
“At this crucial time, we ask that the British Government does more to exert real pressure on Turkey to engage positively and constructively towards a just and viable solution in Cyprus… Forty-three years after the invasion of Cyprus, the UK has played a major role in shaping a new world: now, under your renewed leadership, is the time for Britain to act accordingly on Cyprus and press Turkey to work for a fair and lasting settlement for the benefit of all Cypriots,” Mr Karaolis notes.
He concludes his letter by asking for a meeting with the Prime Minister in order to discuss the prospect of Cyprus’s reunification further.
Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. UN peace talks are underway to find a negotiated settlement to reunite the country under a federal roof. A conference on Cyprus with the participation of Greece, Turkey and the UK reconvenes on Wednesday in Crans Montana.