Cyprus Agreement

I am sure that Parliament will understand that the Greek and Turkish parliaments also have the right to be informed first-hand of these important agreements. The documents, including the agreements between the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers in Zurich, will therefore be presented to Parliament next Monday in the form of a white paper. They are also published in Nicosia by the governor. At this stage, I would just like to say that the agreements reached in Zurich take full account of the rights of the Cypriot people and constitute a fair and honourable compromise between the interests of Greece and Turkey. They restore the friendship and alliance between these two countries, which are so important to the security of all of us. Negotiations between Greece and Turkey continued in light of this statement of Her Majesty`s position. They culminated in the agreements reached between the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers on 11 February in Zurich. We have agreed with our Greek and Turkish allies that the text of the documents agreed at the conference and signed today will not be published until they have had time to return to their capitals and report back to their colleagues. With regard to Gentleman`s second question, this issue will undoubtedly be the subject of further debate, but we have always said – and I think that was the whole problem – that we will never solve this issue, with the exception of a Turkish, Greek, British, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot agreement. In the White Paper, which I believe was published in May, we outlined our draft short-term agreements. They were not worthless.

In the end, we added that we would be prepared to consider the transfer of sovereignty for a long-term agreement. What happened today was that we were able to reach the long-term agreement faster than we had anticipated. I want my hon and my hon. My friends and I have the highly deserved recognition of the Prime Minister to our armed forces and civilian members of the Cypriot civil service, who have suffered so much in recent years, as well as to The Governor, Sir Hugh Foot, and his predecessor. I think that whatever the agreement, perhaps the biggest credit must go to the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey, who managed, at a dangerous moment in relations between their two countries, to come together and reach an agreement.