HC Deb 29 October 1980 vol 991 cc468-9
5. Mr Dubs

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals he now has to resolve the difficulties facing Cyprus.

Sir Ian Gilmour

Intercommunal talks under United Nations auspices, the object of which is to resolve the Cyprus problem, resumed in Nicosia on 16 September and are continuing. The Government welcome this, believing such talks to be the best way to secure a just and lasting settlement.

Mr. Dubs

Given that there is now a different Government in Turkey, and that Greece is seeking a closer relationship with NATO, is not the time right for a British initiative? Will the Lord Privy Seal take steps towards meeting the Turkish and Greek Governments with a view to getting meaningful negotiations going at governmental level?

Sir I. Gilmour

I agree with the prolegomena of the hon. Gentleman's question. United Nations' talks are being held. It is early days, but so far they have gone quite well. It is right for all interested Governments—and we are more interested than almost anybody else—to support the intercommunal talks.

Mr. Rowlands

The Lord Privy Seal will know that it is widely and understandably held in Cyprus that part of the problem lies in Ankara. Have the Government had any direct discussions with the Turkish authorities? What response has he had?

Sir I. Gilmour

Part of the problem certainly lies outside Cyprus. The intercommunal talks have got off to a reasonably good start. No one would want to be too hopeful, but they have got off to a better start than they did before. We want to build on that.

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