Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Further written evidence submitted by Friends of Cyprus

  You will find a lot of criticism of the UK on your visit to Cyprus next month. They feel we tried to bully them into a "Yes" vote in April on the Annan 5 plan and have abandoned them since.

  Please may I ask you to bear in mine these five points on your visit?

  1.  The best prospect for progress on a settlement is if there are discussions at all levels (not just politicians) on how to bridge the gaps. Ideally some kind of constitutional convention could reach enough agreement to put proposals to politicians north and south.

  2.  Steps might be agreed to encourage free trade across the island, with more and easier crossing of the green line as positive steps to wider trade links across the EU.

  3.  A deal of work is going on in joint bodies (north and south) to agree a plan to restore "old" Famagusta and exploit its tourist potential and open up its port perhaps under UN supervision.

  4.  If people on the ground can demonstrate, as they are doing, that they can work and live together, this will encourage pro-settlement politicians in both communities to take risks.

  5.  The longer it takes to agree a settlement, the slimmer the chances of agreement. If Turkey gets a date to open EU negotiations in December (as seems likely) and the EU aid package to the north goes ahead, there is less pressure to settle—which brings up back to point 1!

  Enjoy your visit.

Robin Corbett

Chairman, Friends of Cyprus

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