HC Deb 14 December 1994 vol 251 c922
16. Mr. Eric Clarke

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last consulted the United States Secretary of State about the situation in Cyprus.

Mr. Hurd

I last discussed Cyprus with the United States Secretary of State when I was in Washington on 22 June, but we have had many exchanges at official level since then, most recently with Mr. Williams, the United States special co-ordinator on Cyprus, here in London yesterday.

Mr. Clarke

As Britain and the United States are members of the Security Council, why are they not making the reunification of Cyprus a top priority in every sense? Cyprus has been divided for far too long, and many of the interested parties are dragging their feet. Why are the Government not pressurising Turkey, for instance, to make efforts to try to make the negotiators in the north come together in a meaningful and peaceful way to reunite Cyprus?

Mr. Hurd

We are, indeed, pressing constantly on behalf of the Secretary General in that direction. We believe that he is best placed to carry forward those discussions. I have encouraged him to persevere with them despite the disappointment last year, when it looked as though the parties concerned were close to an agreement on confidence-building measures, which could have led to an agreement on the substantive issue. It is disappointing that that agreement dissolved at the last minute.

The latest effort by the Secretary General is to call together Mr. Denktas and President Klerides. They have had meetings and I hope that they will have more meetings. We follow the discussions with great care and offer support and apply pressure wherever we believe that it is needed to reach an agreement.

Mr. Waterson

Does my right hon. Friend agree that in the face of the continued intransigence of the regime in the north of Cyprus, the only solution now is to press forward as fast as possible with processing the application from the Republic of Cyprus to join the European Union?

Mr. Hurd

We certainly do not believe that anyone has a veto on the application of the Republic of Cyprus. We were party to the decision of the Corfu summit earlier this year that the next phase of enlargement of the European Union will involve Cyprus.

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