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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

UK governments position on Cyprus

Britains's former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s comments suggesting partition of the island were not shared by MPs during a House of Commons debate yesterday.

Last week Jack Straw annoyed the 300,000 British Greek community when he said in an article that it was time for the UK government to “consider the formal partition of Cyprus” if the current reunification talks fail. Meaning that if the Greeks on the island did not accept a solution which would allow Turkey to have military control over the island then there wouldn't be a deal.

During yesterday’s debate David Lidington, British Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs, highlighted that the British government was against any solution that involved the division of the island, while also reiterating London’s position for the support of talks on a just and long-lasting solution of the Cyprus problem. He also commented that the current situation was not beneficial for either of the two sides and that it was Turkey’s obligation to help the conditions for a settlement in Cyprus.

The debate, initiated by Labour MP Jim Sheridan, was attended by many MPs both Labour and Conservative. The comments made by Jack Straw angered many in the community who correctly observed that he would not have suggested a partition of Northern Ireland as a solution to that problem which is almost identical. He can of course say anything he likes now that he is no longer in office but he has now lost a lot of support.

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