Lidington: Up to the parties when to discuss property issues

Lidington: Up to the parties when to discuss property issues

A comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue is the best condition in which issues of property could be addressed, said the British Foreign Minister for European Affairs David Lidington in a House of Commons answer on Wednesday.

The Foreign Office official reiterated London’s position on the matter in response to a written question by Labour MP George Howarth on what powers are available to the UN-facilitated settlement process “to intervene in respect of the confiscation of property owned by Turkish Cypriots in Vasiliko in order to facilitate oil and gas exploration.”

“Property issues will be discussed by representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities during the relevant chapter in the UN facilitated negotiations,” was Lidington’s response.

As he added, “it will be for the parties to decide when these issues will be discussed as part of the settlement process, and to agree a solution.”

The British Europe Minister also remarked that the UK strongly supports the UN-facilitated process for a comprehensive settlement, “which remains the best way to address the complex issues relating to the division of Cyprus, including issues of property ownership and access.”