HC Deb 09 July 2003 vol 408 cc1157-8
Q9. Tom Cox (Tooting)

What plans he has to visit Cyprus to meet the President of Cyprus.

The Prime Minister

I have no current plans to do so.

Tom Cox

I note that reply. Is my right hon. Friend aware, however, that in recent weeks in northern Cyprus there has been a dramatic change of attitude on the part of the Turkish Cypriot community, who have clearly said that they no longer accept the leadership of Rauf Denktash, no longer want the isolation that they have had for so long, and now want to be part of the European Union that the Republic of Cyprus will enter next year? Against that background, will the Prime Minister, when he next meets the Turkish Prime Minister, make it clear to him that he and his Government should start to enter into constructive dialogue in seeking a settlement in Cyprus for the benefit of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, who clearly now want to associate together?

Prime Minister

My hon. Friend is right in the sense that there is a strong feeling among the Turkish Cypriots that they want to be part of the European Union and to have the benefits of membership. Of course, we will continue our discussions with both the Greek and the Turkish Governments to see how we can bring about a settlement. My hon. Friend may like to know that Kofi Annan recently made it clear that the UN proposals that we strongly supported remain on the table. I therefore very much hope that we are able to mount a constructive attempt to get the parties talking again to ensure that we can reach a settlement on this issue, which would be beneficial for all the people on the island of Cyprus.

Mr. David Tredinnick (Bosworth)

Is the Prime Minister aware that 30 Members from all parties have presented petitions o n behalf of 1 million voters against the European proposals to ban 300 food and vitamin supplements? (Interruption]

Mr. Speaker

Order. It is a closed question—

Hon. Members

In Cyprus.

Mr. Tredinnick


Mr. Speaker

It is too late for the hon. Gentleman to add "In Cyprus."

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