HC Deb 12 December 2000 vol 359 cc479-80
18. Mr. Andrew Love (Edmonton)

What discussions he has had with his counterpart in Cyprus regarding inter-community relations; and if he will make a statement. [141978]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Keith Vaz)

During his most recent meeting with the Cyprus Foreign Minister on 3 October, the Foreign Secretary welcomed the progress made so far in the on-going United Nations-Cyprus proximity talks. The discussions also covered the necessity for both sides to remain fully engaged in the UN proximity talks, aimed at securing a just and sustainable settlement in Cyprus, which will benefit both its communities. The United Kingdom remains strongly supportive of the UN process and is working hard to ensure that all involved continue to co-operate fully with the UN Secretary-General's efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

Mr. Love

My hon. Friend will be aware that Mr. Denktash, the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, has indicated that he will not take part in further proximity talks. What efforts are the Government making to ensure the continuation of dialogue between the two communities in Cyprus, and what pressures are they bringing to bear to ensure meaningful dialogue leading to a resolution of the conflict on the island?

Mr. Vaz

I congratulate my hon. Friend on all the work that he has done on this issue and on the number of times that he has raised it in the House. It is vital that dialogue continues between the communities, and we have every confidence in the abilities of our special representative, Sir David Hannay. My hon. Friend will know from his meetings with Sir David and others involved in this sensitive process that we want all groups to participate. As the Prime Minister said on 23 December 1998, we want to see a just and lasting settlement for Cyprus.

Mr. John Butterfill (Bournemouth, West)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker

After the statement, sir.