In the run-up to the 44th anniversary of the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, Theresa Villiers has renewed her call for a just, lasting and balanced settlement to reunite the island.
She recently held a meeting in Parliament with two of her constituents, Antonis and Nikos Savvides, to discuss Famagusta. These two brothers were among many people who were forced to leave their homes in Famagusta during the Turkish invasion. The photographer and journalist Doros Partasides was also present for the discussion. Following the meeting, Theresa raised Cyprus with the Foreign Secretary, emphasising that any settlement must provide justice for Famagusta.
“As we prepare to mark the 44th anniversary of the 1974 invasion, I want to renew my commitment to the cause of a free and united Cyprus,” Theresa said.
“It is a terrible injustice that Cyprus has been divided for more than four decades and I will continue to campaign for a just and peaceful settlement to bring this separation to an end and see all Cypriots able to live together once again.
“I fully appreciate the scale of the suffering felt by those who fled from their homes in 1974 and have never been permitted to return. I welcomed the opportunity to discuss Famagusta with my constituents, Antonis and Nikos Savvides. It is a tragedy that so many residents of Famagusta and other villages and towns had to flee and are still exiled from their homes.
“Over nearly two decades, I have been involved in countless campaigns and initiatives calling for freedom for Cyprus. I have attended hundreds of Cypriot community events, as well as making regular visits to Cyprus. I have met four successive Presidents of Cyprus, including President Anastasiades.
“I want to see a viable solution agreed between the two sides which respects human rights and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. I do not believe any future settlement should include third country guarantees. I have spoken out against such guarantees in Parliament because they are unnecessary and unjustified. I also believe that Turkey should withdraw its troops from Cyprus.
“I will continue to urge UK Ministers to take action to support Cypriots in their efforts to deliver an agreed solution in Cyprus. On many occasions, I have asked Ministers to press the Ankara Government to give Cypriots the freedom to determine their own future. I have raised Cypriot matters directly with the Prime Minister. I fight for the Cyprus cause every day. I do not believe many other elected representatives can match my level of commitment on Cyprus.”