HC Deb 10 March 1976 vol 907 cc394-5
2. Mr. Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussion he has had within the United Nations in regard to Cyprus; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. James Callaghan)

The Security Council has not recently discussed Cyprus, but Dr. Waldheim presided at the February Vienna talks, during which agreement was reached on further exchanges and meetings. I am giving active support to Dr. Waldheim's successful efforts to sustain the talks by maintaining regular contacts with the parties.

Mr. Atkinson

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that, arising from those Vienna talks, it was agreed between the inter-communal leaders that written proposals would be made before 1st April this year? Is it not also a fact that, prior to these written proposals being made, because of the military occupation of the island by Turkey any proposals being made by Mr. Denktash must have the authority of the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Demirel? In those circumstances, will my right hon. Friend, together with Sir Christopher Soames, seek the support of the Turkish Prime Minister in doing everything possible to make the proposals realistic?

Mr. Callaghan

My hon. Friend is right when he says that agreement was reached in Vienna to exchange written proposals within six weeks and to meet again in May. Both through the EEC and bilaterally, I have been impressing upon the Turkish Government and the Greek Government that they should help, if they can, with Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, to maintain the momentum of the inter-communal talks and, both bilaterally and in consultation with our allies, try to reach a political settlement.

Mr. Hurd

Does the Foreign Secretary recognise that there is a good deal of worry in this country about upwards of 2,000 Greek Cypriots who still seem to be missing after the war of the year before last? If there is no progress on this matter in direct discussions between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, is it not something that either the United Nations or the International Red Cross, with our encouragement, could offer to inquire into impartially?

Mr. Callaghan

I am not up to date on the latest position on this matter in regard to the Red Cross, but I shall be very willing to look into it. I regret to say that the last time I made inquiries there seemed to be little prospect of finding these missing people.