Conservative Party MPs have sent out messages of support for a just settlement of the Cyprus issue, in order to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island on 20 July 1974.
Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet and President of the Conservative Friends of Cyprus, has said: “it is a tragedy that injustice in Cyprus has now lasted for 42 years.” She has promised to continue to campaign for freedom for Cyprus. “It is unacceptable that the island has remained divided for so long. I pledge to carry on working with MPs from all parties to support efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement to bring an end to division and reunite all Cypriots,” added Ms Villiers.
Sir Roger Gale of Thanet North in Kent said: “First of all, it is quite wrong that for 42 years a member state of the EU still has occupied territory illegally by an aspiring European State. Cyprus and Turkey are both State Members of the Council of Europe and Turkish soldiers have no right whatsoever to be on Cypriot soil. From now on, we have to look forward for the effort of President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to bring about a workable resolution to reunite Cypru”
The MP for Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire Martin Vickers recounted how a recent visit to Cyprus organised by CFCyprus reminded him yet again of the tragedy that is the occupied territory. “So many have suffered the loss of their homes, businesses and in some cases loved ones. It’s so important that this situation is brought to its end.”
North London MP Mike Freer has noted that “after 42 years the pain of the invasion and the loss of loved ones and property remains keenly felt.” The MP for the Finchley and Golders Green constituency added that “as time passes we must not allow the cause of a fair and just solution to be diminished.”
David Burrowes MP from Enfield-Southgate, the Parliamentary Chairman of CFCyprus said: “We need to remember at all times that while there is hope of progress towards a solution, the injustice in Cyprus has not been undone. We in Parliament need to keep working, keep pressuring, and keep shouting from the diplomatic rooftops so that we right this wrong, before another year and generation passes.”
The MP for Hendon, Matthew Offord has noted that it remains a manifesto pledge of the Conservative government to seek a just solution for the whole of Cyprus. “The Conservative Friends of Cyprus is seeking to achieve that pledge and has visited the island, raised the issue in a debate on the floor of the House of Commons and lobbied ministers about the issue. The group will continue to do so until we achieve that solution,” said Mr Offord.