A Foreign Office Μinister said that the British government remains committed to supporting the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, adding that London recognises the serious difficulties caused by the status quo and that it supports measures aimed at “reducing the Turkish Cypriots’ isolation.”
Baroness Anelay of St Johns was responding in writing to a question by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, known for his pro-Turkish views, on whether the UK has “actively sought to ameliorate the embargo on the Turkish Cypriot community.”
In her answer the Foreign Office official also mentioned that the UK has suggested that measures should be taken to enable Turkish Cypriots to participate effectively in cultural, social and economic life and public affairs.
“We also support the European Commission’s proposal for a direct trade regulation to enhance the Turkish Cypriot community’s access to EU markets. Disagreements over the legal basis mean that this has unfortunately not yet been agreed,” added Baroness Anelay.
She also repeated the British government’s position that “the best way of resolving the challenges faced by both communities is through a comprehensive settlement to end the division of the island” and that therefore London continues to support strongly UN-led efforts to reunify Cyprus through a lasting and just settlement.
Cyprus to make strict demarches to Britain over Anelay’s remarks
Acting President of the Republic of Cyprus Yiannakis Omirou has described as unacceptable, the position expressed by Britain`s Baroness Anelay, Minister of State that measures should be taken to lessen the so called isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and announced the government will proceed with strict demarches.
Speaking to reporters after he chaired a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace, Omirou said the Anelay`s “unacceptable” remarks were discussed at the cabinet.
Anelay was replying to a letter by a member of the House of Lords concerning so called direct trade between the occupied areas and EU member states.
He said it was “a highly provocative statement, which cancels and negates both the status of Britain as a guarantor of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and is in clear violation of resolutions 541 and 550 of the Security Council” which were adopted after the illegal declaration the pseudo regime in the occupied north.
Τhe cabinet, he said, decided that “strict demarches will be made by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in London over this unacceptable statement and Britain`s stance and the Foreign Ministry in Nicosia to the British High Commission to Cyprus”.
Britain, he noted, “unfortunately, continues a subversive behavior towards the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, in blatant violation of its obligations as a guarantor of the Republic of Cyprus.”
Answering a question, Omirou said that the measures should be very strict, adding “you are aware of my position that measures should be taken that will be discussed and decided, to make Britain understand that it cannot behave in this manner with no consequences for itself and its interests. “
Britain maintains two sovereign bases in Cyprus.
EU-aspirant Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of numerous calls by the EU to do so and normalise relations with Nicosia.
President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led peace talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.
Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.