The Conservative Friends of Cyprus met on Tuesday, 14 March with Mr Stephen Lillie CMG who is shortly set to take over command of the British diplomatic mission to Cyprus. The meeting was held at the Houses of Parliament and was attended by senior parliamentarians the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Matthew Offord MP, Martin Vickers MP and Sheryll Murray MP.
The Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Cyprus, Jason Charalambous, congratulated Mr Lillie on his appointment as Britain’s next High Commissioner, and briefed him on the scope and activities of the group and its positive hopes and vision for the future of bilateral relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom, in particular once Britain leaves the EU. Mr Charalambous also outlined the role that the sizeable British Cypriot community can play.
The parliamentarians present informed Mr Lillie of matters which they have raised in the House of Commons. The special historic relationship between the British and Cypriot people was highlighted and a discussion ensued on matters of common interest, such as trade and investment, education and culture, and matters of current importance.
Mr Lillie expressed his pleasure in having the opportunity to meet with senior members of the group, and those present expressed their desire to see continued engagement in upcoming initiatives and future parliamentary visits to the island.
Senior members of the CFCyprus team were also present including CFCyprus founder and former MP Dr Ian Twinn, President of the World Organisation for Overseas Cypriots, Andreas Papaevripides, and other members of the Executive Team including Doros Partasides and George Hadjipavlis.
Mr Lillie is an experienced diplomat whose last posting was that of the Foreign Office Director for Asia Pacific between 2013 and 2017. Prior to that he served as UK Ambassador to the Philippines, FCO Head of the Far Eastern Department and Director of Trade & Investment of the New Delhi High Commission.