Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, has written to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to support efforts to secure a negotiated settlement that will see all Cypriots reunited in a free and democratic Cyprus.
In her letter the long-standing friend of Cyprus has highlighted the “crucial” talks taking place between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Theresa Villiers has taken this action at the request of a group of Barnet residents and other members of the British Cypriot community.
This group all originally come from towns or villages which are now under Turkish control in the northern part of Cyprus and is made up of Doros Partasides, originally from the village of Larnaka Tis Lapithou, and Antonis Savvides, originally from the city of Famagusta, Andreas Tambourides, originally from the town of Morphou, Barry Evangeli, originally from the village of Leonarisso and Tasos Poyiatzis, originally from the town of Karavas.
Theresa Villiers said: “As MP for Chipping Barnet, with its large British Cypriot population, I have heard many stories from my constituents about the distress caused by events in 1974. Cyprus has been divided for over 42 years and the talks between the two sides are now entering a crucial phase. We all hope for a breakthrough that is built upon a platform of consent and cooperation from both sides.
“Cypriot President Anastasiades continues to put forward sensible proposals aimed at delivering a workable and long-lasting solution to overcome the difficult issues that need to be resolved. I hope that our new Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will engage positively with this process and urge both sides to make all the efforts they can to achieve a settlement.”
Doros Partasides, a photographer-cameraman who now lives in Mill Hill, said: “I came to the UK after the Turkish invasion in 1974. I am a British citizen and my motherland is Cyprus. This is a crucial time for the British Government to be active as a guarantor power and help to find a lasting and workable solution in a reunified Cyprus.”
The group of British Cypriots who asked Ms Villiers to contact the PM have also written to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urging him to work closely with the Republic of Cyprus to achieve a workable solution.