HC Deb 18 November 1981 vol 13 cc267-8
6. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Lord Privy Seal when he intends to visit Cyprus to discuss progress towards a settlement with the President of the Republic and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Humphrey Atkins)

I have no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Price

Does the Lord Privy Seal agree that, if he visits Cyprus, it is important that he gets the position right in any statements that he makes? Will he avoid stating, as did his immediate predecessor, that invasions mean different things to different people? Will he also avoid stating, as did a more remote predecessor in the 1950s, Mr. Henry Hopkinson, that Cyprus could never be fully independent? Will he associate himself with Prime Minister Papandreou's statement that the problem in Cyprus concerns invasion and foreign occupation, which is contrary to what the Prime Minister said in Melbourne?

Mr. Atkins

I shall always try to get my statements right, regardless of what my predecessors, near or far, did, although I am sure that they tried, too. The problem of Cyprus is complicated. Territory is one aspect, but there are others. We are all glad that the parties are at least showing interest in the United Nations efforts to bring them together to discuss the matter peaceably. It is a process that we are doing everything that we can to support.

Sir Anthony Kershaw

Before he makes any pronouncement about Cyprus, will my right hon. Friend note that the negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations are making progress? Will he give them a chance to fructify before we come in?

Mr. Atkins

I am sure that that my hon. Friend is right. The United Nations is playing a leading part in the matter. It is our business to give the United Nations every assistance, which we are doing.

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