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CFCyprus Annual Parliamentary Reception

On Wednesday the Conservative Friends of Cyprus hosted their annual New Year’s Vasilopita reception in the Jubilee Room in Parliament. The Europe Minister, the Rt Hon Chris Pincher MP, joined 16 Members of Parliament in addressing the packed room of over 120 guests, followed by speeches by CFC President the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Chairman of the APPG for Cyprus Sir Roger Gale MP, CFC’s Parliamentary Chairman Matthew Offord MP, Chairman of CFC Jason Charalambous and the High Commissioner of Cyprus HE Andreas Kakouris. The special service of the cutting of the Vasilopita (St Basil’s Cake) was led by the UK’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop HE Archbishop Nikitas and was followed by singing of traditional carols. At the reception the Minister for Europe Christopher Pincher confirmed that the British Government’s position regarding the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s activity within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus does not change now that the UK has exited the European Union. Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Mr Pincher said: “Our stance remains the same, which is we believe that a bizonal, bicommunal system for the people of the island of Cyprus is the best way forward for peace and prosperity for them all; and we believe that Cyprus has a right to exclusive access to its Exclusive Economic Zone, and any drilling there by anybody is wrong. We deplore it and we continue to deplore it. We want to make sure that the hydrocarbons around Cyprus in the EEZ are used in the good of everybody on the island of Cyprus. It’s theirs, it’s yours, make the best use... read more

CFCyprus Conference Reception 2019

We are delighted to announce that our annual Conservative Party Conference reception will be held this year on Sunday 29th September at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. Guest speakers include the Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Foreign Secretary (Invited) & the Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, and the High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus HE Andreas Kakouris. Other speakers to include our President the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Chairman Jason Charalambous and the Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party Helen Grant MP. DETAILS: Date: Sunday 29th September Time: 8:15 to 9:30pm Venue: Victoria Suite, Midland Hotel, Manchester The reception is open to supporters of CFCyprus. Early arrival is recommended as admission will be restricted once capacity is reached.The venue is within the secure zone for which conference passes are required (available from... read more

New Year welcomed with annual Vasilopita reception in Parliament

On Monday evening the Conservative Friends of Cyprus hosted their annual New Year’s reception in the Palace of Westminster with the traditional Vasilopita cake cutting ceremony. Members of the British Cypriot community were joined by the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Matthew Offord MP, Sir Roger Gale MP, Martin Vickers MP, Sheryll Murray MP, Bob Blackman MP, and Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party, Helen Grant MP.  A number of local councillors and senior members of the Conservative Party also attended the ceremony, which was presided over by Father Meliton on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Theresa Villiers said that that the ceremony, now in its third year, was “an opportunity for Parliament to show its support for Cyprus and how much it honours the dynamic Cypriot culture in the United Kingdom”. Ms. Villiers also pointed out that as another new year begins, Cyprus remains divided. “We will continue to defend the freedom of Cyprus. We know how important it is to see the division of the island end once and for all. We are and will forever be friends of Cyprus and we will always strive for its freedom”. Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus, Sir Roger Gale MP, initially referred to the 55th Epiphany ceremony held in Margate on Sunday, expressing his gratitude for the Cypriot community’s contribution to the local area. He added that for 35 of the 55 years that he attends the celebration as an MP, Cyprus remains under occupation. “It is a parody that a European country is allowed to be occupied. We hope that under the auspices of the... read more

Former Parliamentary Friends of Cyprus Honoured

Former Parliamentary friends of Cyprus and the British Cypriot community were honoured on Tuesday evening at a reception at the Conservative Party’s headquarters in Westminster.   David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate, 2005 to 2017), Dr Ian Twinn CBE (Edmonton 1983 to 1997) and Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne, 1992 to 2010) were paid tribute to in the presence of Averof Neophytou, President of Cyprus’ Democratic Rally Party (the ‘sister party’ to the Conservatives), and a packed room of members of the British Cypriot community and senior Conservative Party officials.   The work of other former Members of Parliament was recognised in their absence, including Anthony Coombs (Wyre Forest, 1987 to 1997), Nick de Bois (Enfield North, 2010 to 2015), Cllr John Marshall (Hendon, 1987 to 1997) and Michael Portillo (Enfield Southgate, 1984 to 1997 and Kensington and Chelsea, 1999 to 2005).   Chairman of the Conservative Friends, Jason Charalambous, said that the event was an expression of gratitude to “great friends of Cyprus and the British Cypriot community” who often went “above and beyond” what was expected to help their constituents.   He noted, however, that in politics thanks is not “only expressed in words, but also with feet during elections” where he called upon those gathered to offer practical support campaigning for the re-election of those friends who are re-standing.   Under the gaze of Sir Winston Churchill, Mr Neophytou thanked the Conservative Party for its “long standing and consistent” support for Cyprus and for the Cypriot community in the UK, adding that “Cyprus maintains excellent relations with the United Kingdom, and the Democratic Rally party has close ties with the... read more

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt reaffirms strength of UK-Cyprus relationship

Foreign Secretary the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP has reaffirmed the strength of the UK-Cyprus bilateral relationship at the annual Conservative Friends of Cyprus Conference Reception in Birmingham. The Foreign Secretary also described the Cyprus issue as “not insoluble” and that a federal solution would be better for all Cypriots than the “unacceptable” status quo. Addressing a packed room of Conservative party members, parliamentarians and ministers, Mr Hunt said that the UK has “a very big responsibility as a country with amazing historic links with Cyprus to do everything we can to facilitate a solution to this long-standing issue, which ultimately is not insoluble.” He added that “we have to go with optimism and determination and say that the status quo is not acceptable” and that there is a political solution. “There is a federal structure that will be a better solution for all people living in Cyprus,” added the Foreign Secretary. He referred to a “very good meeting” with his Cypriot counterpart in Vienna in August and to meetings with the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers at the UN General Assembly. He commented that “there is a lot of common ground to go forward.” He did add however that there is always the difficult challenge to navigate between the interests of Cyprus and the national interests of some countries involved. “We need to find ground to navigate through, and we can find it” he noted. “Let’s hope we will have these receptions in the future with something to celebrate. We very nearly got there with Crans Montana, but we were not far off. There is still more work... read more

Annual CFCyprus Conference Reception with Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

We are delighted to announce that our annual Conservative Party Conference reception will be held this year on Sunday 30th September at the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham. Guest speaker – the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Foreign Secretary. Other speakers to include our President the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Chairman Jason Charalambous, and the High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus HE Euripides L. Evriviades.   DETAILS: Date: Sunday 30th September Time: 5:45 to 7:00pm Venue: Hyatt Regency, Birmingham *Please note the reception will be held within the secure conference zone where a pass is required (passes can be obtained from the official conference website). RSVP required – please email... read more

New Year’s Reception in Parliament

The Conservative Friends of Cyprus welcomed the new year with a reception held  at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster with 100 guests and numerous MPs on Tuesday evening. The reception included the traditional ceremony of the cutting of ‘vasilopita’ (new year) cake. The MPs were joined by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus Euripides Evriviades, many members of the organisation and of the UK Cypriot community. Th Rt Hon Theresa Villiers, the Conservative Friends of Cyprus President and host of the event, highlighted the significant role of the Greek Orthodox Church in the UK culture and in education, noting that the first Greek Orthodox secondary school of the UK educational system was established in her Chipping Barnet constituency. She congratulated the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Gregorios who in April completes 30 years of pastorate in his current post. She also urged those present to vote for the Conservative Party candidates in May’s local elections, stressing that several of those candidates are UK Cypriots. The APPG for Cyprus Chairman Sir Roger Gale thanked people who attended the “splendid” occasion of the Blessing of the Seas ceremony at his constituency’s Margate beach last Sunnday, and also praised His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios. He expressed his hope and his belief that the Cyprus issue talks can resume soon after the presidential election in Cyprus “so that we can get down to business.” As he added, “there is only one target, the reunification of Cyprus.” Sir Roger also assured the UK Cypriots that their friends in parliament will continue supporting them as much as they can. Other Conservative MPs attending... read more

CFCyprus pays tribute to former Parliamentary Chairman David Burrowes

Tributes were paid to David Burrowes, the Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate until the 2017 General Election and former CFCyprus Parliamentary Chairman, at a reception held on 7th December. CFCyprus President the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP led the tributes, joined by Sheryll Murray MP and leading members of the British Cypriot community in Barnet and Enfield. Tributes were paid to David Burrowes for his outstanding work on Cyprus during his time as the Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate. Both Theresa and David Burrowes strongly appealed to the Cypriot community to turn out and support Conservative candidates in the local elections taking place in May next year. Speaking later in the evening, Theresa said “As President of the Conservative Friends of Cyprus I am very pleased to have been able to support this important reception at the home of Chris and Andre Chris. Andre has hosted a brilliant event for an important cause.” “I have been involved with Conservatives for Cyprus for many years. For nearly two decades, I have been supporting efforts to find a settlement to reunify the island. The Conservative Party is also backing Cypriots in their search for a just and lasting settlement. Across Barnet and Enfield, we have some fantastic Conservative candidates for next year’s crucial local elections, including a number from the Cypriot community. I urge guests attending this evening to provide help and support to those candidates in the run-up to the elections.” Theresa Villiers has attended a number of Conservative Friends of Cyprus events in the past 12 months. Most notably, in her role as President, she hosted the... read more

25th Anniversary Conference Reception

We are pleased to announce that our 25th Anniversary Conservative Party Conference reception will be held this year on Sunday 1st October at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. Speakers will include: the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP the High Commissioner for Cyprus, HE Euripides L Evriviades Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP Cllr Jason Charalambous Parliamentarians and MEPs   DETAILS Date: Sunday 1st October Time: 5:45 to 7:00pm Venue: The Tea Room, Midland Hotel* Complimentary drinks and canapes will be served. *Please note the reception will be held within the secure conference zone where a pass is required (passes can be obtained from the official conference website here)... read more