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Foreign Secretary joins crucial Cyprus settlement talks in Switzerland offering full UK support

The Foreign Secretary will fly to Switzerland later today to support the UN facilitated talks aimed at reaching a settlement to the long running Cyprus issue.

The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana with the participation of the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, and representatives of the Guarantor Powers (Greece, Turkey and UK).

The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson’s attendance demonstrates the UK’s ongoing support and commitment to the settlement process. He will be accompanied by the Minister for Europe, Sir Alan Duncan. The UK has an important role as a Guarantor Power, and stands ready to support the UN facilitated process. The UK is contributing to a settlement in a number of ways, including as one of the most significant contributors to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, through our offer to cede almost half of the land of the UK Sovereign Base Areas to a united Cyprus and through practical assistance to help the two sides prepare for a settlement.

On arrival in Switzerland this evening, the Foreign Secretary is due to hold a series of meetings with the Parties and attend the launch of the Conference. The Foreign Secretary is expected to pay tribute to the commitment and vision shown by Mr Anastasiades and Mr Akıncı in dedicated pursuit of a settlement for the benefit of both Cypriot communities. He is expected to encourage all those present to ‘keep the goal in sight’ noting that ‘the status quo carries risks, while only change will realise the opportunities of a united Cyprus’. He will point to the ‘opportunity to move beyond the past and stake out a new future’.

The Foreign Secretary will acknowledge that reaching an agreement will require difficult political decisions from all parties and that flexibility and compromise will be essential in order to reach a deal.

Ahead of the talks, the Foreign Secretary said:

This Conference builds on months of hard work, commitment and progress shown by both sides. It’s an exceptional opportunity for both communities to find a lasting solution for Cyprus, which will bring huge benefits to the whole island and the region. It will not be easy, but with political will, creativity and flexibility, I believe that a deal can be done. The UK is ready and willing to help in any way we can.

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Published 27 June 2017