HC Deb 22 November 1994 vol 250 cc467-8
Q6. Mr. Cox

To ask the Prime Minister when he last met the President of Cyprus; and what issues were discussed.

The Prime Minister

I last met the President of Cyprus, Mr. Clerides, in October 1993 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. We discussed Commonwealth matters and the state of the intercommunal discussions on Cyprus. I shall meet the President again in January on his next visit to London.

Mr. Cox

I note that reply. Is the Prime Minister, aware, however, of the scathing criticisms that the Secretary-General of the United Nations has recently made about Mr. Denktash and his total unwillingness to enter any meaningful discussions on Cyprus? As this country is one of the guarantor powers, when will the Prime Minister himself become actively involved in Cyprus affairs in the hope of promoting a settlement that both Mr. Denktash and his friends and supporters in Ankara will be expected to honour?

The Prime Minister

I am, of course, aware of the report to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but I continue to believe that the main focus of our effort should be to support the United Nations Secretary-General's mission. He has made some progress. The Security Council called for further effort on confidence-building measures in June, as the hon. Gentleman will know, and for a process of consultation. That latter aspect has been given effect by means of face-to-face talks between the two community leaders. I hope that those will continue. We will do all that we can to persuade both sides to continue talking, but until and unless they are themselves prepared to reach an agreement, it is difficult to see how one can be imposed.

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