Presidential Commissioner Photiou highlights role of diaspora and UK in resolving Cyprus issue, CNA – UK/London, 20/09/2021
Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has underlined the important role that the Cypriot diaspora in the UK, the UK Government and the wider international community can play in resolving issues pertaining to Cyprus problem.
Addressing Cypriot media in London, in the middle of a five-day long working visit to the British capital which concludes on Wednesday, Photiou particularly highlighted his concerns regarding the issue of people gone missing following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
He spoke of the reminder of the “enormous pain” of the missing persons’ relatives following his meeting with the organisation representing them in the UK. Stressing that Turkey needs to cooperate in order for the remaining missing persons to be located, he said that the UK could play a “decisive” role towards exercising pressure on Ankara to disclose relevant military information.
He described the international community’s failure to exert pressure on Turkey regarding such a humanitarian matter as an “embarrassment”, calling for more to be done by the EU and the UN as well. “The time to act is now; time is the biggest enemy for the missing persons issue,” noted the Presidential Commissioner.
He also said that the UK, the EU and other foreign powers can also play a positive role in the pursuit of a viable settlement to the long-standing Cyprus issue. “What we see is that they support the efforts by the President of the Republic (Anastasiades) for a settlement based on the resolutions of the UN. This is where the UK can help and exercise pressure so that the settlement talks resume in order to achieve a solution that will be viable,” said Photiou.
He dismissed as “neo-Ottoman approach and tactics” the Turkish position that there should be a recognition of the so-called “sovereign equality” of the Turkish Cypriots and the position on the existence of “two states” on the island of Cyprus.
He reiterated the Greek Cypriot side and President Anastasiades’s readiness to attend new negotiations, given that a settlement will be sought in line with the resolutions and decisions of the UN Security Council.
During his stay in London Photiou will be holding meetings with pro-Cypriot MPs from all big British parties, the head of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat and Minister for the European Neighbourhood Wendy Morton.
He has also been meeting with representatives of the UK Cypriot community’s associations, hailing their support and important role on issues of national interest. He has met officials in charge of the Greek schools in the UK, he will discuss with the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Nikitas, as well as representative of the Jewish and Egyptian diaspora in the UK as part of the work that is being done in promoting bilateral and trilateral (along with Greece) partnerships between diasporas.
Photiou is accompanied in his meetings by the Consul General Theodoros Gotsis and the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis.