Sir Roger Gale
Member of Parliament for North Thanet (Margate, Herne Bay & The Villages)
Cyprus talks continue
January 11th 2017
Members of Parliament have met with the Minister of State, Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan, to ensure the British Government takes every step it can to assist in the Cyprus reunification talks currently taking place in Geneva.
Pictured from Left to Right: Matthew Offord MP (Hendon) David Burrowes MP (Enfield Southgate) Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan MP, Theresa Villiers MP (Chipping Barnet) Sheryll Murray MP (South East Cornwall) Sir Roger Gale MP (Thanet North – Chairman, All-Party group for Cyprus)
After decades of division, this latest round of talks has been described as an "historic opportunity" by Antonio Guterres, the new UN Secretary-General. The Greek Cypriot side, represented by President Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, will be joined on Thursday by representatives of Cyprus’s three guarantors – Turkey, Greece and Britain.
Several issues remain to be resolved, including land and property; displaced refugees from the north part of the island and also those from the south; habitation of the town of Morphou; territorial and security – Turkey has up to 30,000 troops stationed on the island.
It is widely considered that much of these disputes can be addressed through a combination of land swaps and financial compensation, although it is not clear who would foot the bill.
If an agreement can be reached, it will be voted on in two separate referendums, one for the Greek Cypriots and the other for the Turkish Cypriots with the referendums being held later in the year, which could be held sometime in the summer.
The British Government has sent a senior team of civil servants to the island to assist in the talks and they will be joined by both the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson and Minister of State Sir Alan Duncan.