HC Deb 15 June 1977 vol 933 cc372-3
14. Mr. Viggers

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any current plans to visit Turkey.

Mr. Judd

My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Viggers

Is the Minister aware of some disenchantment in Turkey resulting from both the British withdrawal of troop commitment to the southern flank of NATO and lack of progress in the European context? What special steps have the Government in mind to take with the new Turkish Government to improve the situation?

Mr. Judd

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will know that following the 1974 defence review the Government decided to concentrate the United Kingdom's defence effort in those areas where it could make the most significant contribution. This included the central region, the Eastern Atlantic and the Channel areas. We have, however, offered to carry out—I think this is what the hon. Gentleman has in mind—various compensatory measures of special value to the southern flank. These measures were detailed in the 1975 and 1976 defence White Papers.

Mr. Townsend

Has the Minister seen a report in The Times today that exports from the northern part of Cyprus to Britain have played a large part in boosting the weak economy of that part of Cyprus? In the light of the recent court case, of which he is aware, concerning Kyrenia hotels, what fresh action will the British Government take over this matter, bearing in mind that we are a guarantor Power for a free and independent Cyprus?

Mr. Judd

If the hon. Gentleman will put down a Question on that specific issue I shall answer it.

Mr. Atkinson

Returning to the Minister's original answer, will he offer the House his thoughts about meeting the new Prime Minister, Mr. Ecevit, and perhaps joining with Cyrus Vance of the United States in a series of propositions that should now be put to the new Administration in Turkey concerning the future of Cyprus?

Will the Minister now welcome the election of the new Government and the coming of Mr. Ecevit? Will he also persuade his right hon. Friend to take some initiatives in arranging an early meeting, so that these discussions can take place?

Mr. Judd

I can assure my hon. Friend that the Government have high in their priorities effective relations with Turkey, whatever Turkish Government are in power, and we shall welcome Turkish Ministers at any time on visits to the United Kingdom.

As for Cyprus, we are very glad that the inter-communal talks started in Vienna are continuing in Nicosia, and anything that we can do, with the Nine or with the United States, to bring them to a fruitful conclusion we shall do.

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