HC Deb 16 April 1991 vol 189 cc160-1
Q6. Mr. Corbyn

To ask the Prime Minister, what discussions he has held with the Government of Turkey concerning their occupation of part of Cyprus.

The Prime Minister

I met the Turkish Prime Minister yesterday and the President of Cyprus last week. My discussion yesterday with the Turkish Prime Minister concentrated on the plight of the Kurds. I urged him to help the international efforts to get the Kurds down from the mountains into areas of Turkey and Iraq where they can receive food and medicine. The Turkish Prime Minister and I spoke briefly about Cyprus later in the day.

Mr. Corbyn

Perhaps the Prime Minister can tell us what discussions he had with the Prime Minister of Turkey. He must be aware that the British Government are a guarantor of Cypriot independence and that the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey was condemned by the United Nations. Does not he think that the aim should be the withdrawal of foreign troops from Cyprus and the reunification of the island, with guarantees from all communities to end the terrible time suffered by so many people through the division of the island by military intervention?

The Prime Minister

I made it entirely clear to the Turkish Prime Minister that we supported the efforts being made by the secretary-general and we hoped that he would make progress speedily towards a satisfactory solution.

Mr. Anthony Coombs

Will the Prime Minister confirm that Cyprus, a democratic member of the Commonwealth, is the only European country at present forcibly occupied by a foreign power? Does he agree that positive action is necessary to persuade Turkey that it is in its interest and in the interest of the regional stability of the eastern Mediterranean that the reunification of Cyprus as a stable and democratic country is implemented as soon as possible?

The Prime Minister

I agree with my hon. Friend and the Turkish Government are aware that that is our policy.

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