New British High Commissioner says UK will continue to support a just, democratic and permanent solution in Cyprus

New British High Commissioner to Cyprus has said that the British Government will continue to support the achievement of a just, democratic and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem.

Irfan Siddiq, new British High Commissioner to Cyprus, presented on Wednesday his credentials to the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace.

According to a press release by the Presidency, during a tete a tete meeting, President Anastasiades referred to the role of the United Kingdom as a permanent member of the UN Security Council in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue and reiterated his commitment to the efforts to resume the Cyprus talks in order to achieve a comprehensive and functional solution to the Cyprus problem, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as defined in the relevant United Nations resolutions, international law and the principles and values ​​of the European Union.

Furthermore, the President analyzed the proposed Confidence Building Measures and referred to the ongoing Turkish provocations and illegal actions, both within the maritime zones of the Republic of Cyprus and on the ground, mainly in the fenced off area of ​​Varosha.

The President expressed the readiness of the government and himself personally for a close cooperation with the new High Commissioner, with the aim of further deepening the bilateral relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom in all sectors.

Siddiq said that it is an honor and a privilege to be appointed as High Commissioner and added that he looks forward to the strengthening of bilateral relations. He also pointed out that during the term in office of President Anastasiades, the relations between the two countries have been strengthened and described them as relations between partners.

The new British High Commissioner noted that this new relationship between the two states is based on shared values, such as the rule of law, but also on the fact that both countries are liberal democracies.

He stressed that the British Government will continue to support the achievement of a just, democratic and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem, stressing that a reunified Cyprus can have even greater achievements as a country.

They both referred to the important contribution of the 300,000 Cypriots in the United Kingdom as well as the British living in the Republic of Cyprus as regards the strengthening of bilateral relations.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’.

Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

President Anastasiades conveyed a proposal on Confidence Building Measures through a letter to the Turkish Cypriot leader and the UN, last May, including provisions for the operation of the airport, located in Turkish-occupied Tymbou, under the UN, and the return of legal residents to Varosha, the fenced off part of Famagusta.

The proposed package of measures also provides for European Commission involvement in trade through Famagusta port and the implementation by Ankara of the Additional Protocol, allowing Cypriot-flagged vessels to access ports in Turkey. An escrow account for revenues from hydrocarbon activities, to be accessed by the Turkish Cypriot community is also proposed, provided that Cyprus and Turkey delineate their exclusive economic zones. The Turkish Cypriot side dismissed the package, proposing instead a set of “cooperation proposals” between two “states” in areas such as electricity, renewable energy, water and hydrocarbons.


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