HC Deb 14 February 1979 vol 962 cc1114-6
4. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent action he has taken to support Dr. Waldheim's initiative for a solution in Cyprus.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Frank Judd)

The Government are keeping in close touch with Dr. Waldheim, the Cyprus parties, and other interested Governments, about progress towards a resumption of intercommunal negotiations. We have made clear our full support for Dr. Waldheim's efforts.

Mr. Price

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Greek Cypriots side has accepted without any reservations at all Dr. Waldheim's agenda, whereas the Turkish Cypriots have submitted reservations which have so far prevented the resumption of these talks? In these circumstances, does he really think it sensible for Britain to participate in the massive economic aid towards Turkey, because the Prime Minister said on his return from Guadeloupe that although there was no formal linkage he very much hoped that the Cyprus negotiations and the aid to Turkey would go hand in hand?

Mr. Judd

The United Kingdom Government, together with the Governments of the United States and Canada, have been closely following the prospects for restarting the negotiations. We are determined to do all that we can to assist in this matter and we have our own proposals available as a basis for detail in this respect. We must persevere in trying to get the parties together. I hope my hon. Friend will feel that the preservation of democracy in Turkey stands on its own merits as an issue worth our support.

Mr. James Lamond

Has my hon. Friend noticed the gross violation of human rights in Cyprus, both in the South and more clearly in the North? Does he realise that his and his right hon. Friends' stand on human rights—the speeches that they make and the books that they write—loses a little credibility when they stand idly aside and disregard the violations in Cyprus?

Mr. Judd

If that were true it would be a serious allegation. It is not true. We have done all that we can to support international efforts to resolve the humanitarian problems. We are now convinced that the best way of doing this will be in the context of a general settlement. In the meantime, we are sorry that the parties themselves have not yet been able to reach practical arrangements for investigating the breaches of human rights which concern us all.

Mrs. Knight

Does the Minister recognise that there still exist the gravest and greatest difficulties for persons who have come over here as political refugees from Cyprus and who are expected to return now? Will he please think again about directing some of them to return home, as he has some of my constituents, who really could not possibly safely return at this time?

Mr. Judd

I am sure the hon. Lady will agree with what I said a moment ago. If people are to have the prospect of real security and peace in their homes in Cyprus, it underlines the urgency of achieving a general political settlement and the importance of us all doing all that we can to persuade the parties to come together and start working on Dr. Waldheim's proposals, supported by the more detailed ideas put forward by ourselves, the Americans and the Canadians.