§ Mr. MacShane
[holding answer 20 January 2003]We share the concerns of both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities over the missing persons following the events of 1974. However, this is a humanitarian issue on which the UN Committee on Missing Persons, established in 1983, leads. We support the actions of the Committee and urge full co-operation with it.
Such humanitarian concerns are among the many reasons why we urge both sides in Cyprus to achieve a settlement, based on the UN Secretary-General's proposals of 10 December, by the UN deadline of 28 February. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I reiterated Her Majesty's Government's support for an early settlement when we met Turkish Ministers at the Copenhagen European Council in December. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence did likewise during his visit to Ankara on 8 January.