HL Deb 10 May 2004 vol 661 c11WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are involved in discussions concerning the withdrawal of Turkish armed forces, now in occupation of northern Cyprus; and what is the relationship between this and Turkey's application for membership of the European Union. [HL2559]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

The UK was closely involved in support of the UN Secretary General's efforts to broker a Cyprus settlement. An integral element of the UN Secretary General's comprehensive proposals was the demilitarisation of the island and progressive withdrawal of foreign troops (both Greek and Turkish)—ultimately leaving just 950 Greek and 650 Turkish troops. Unfortunately the plan has not been accepted by both sides—therefore there is no agreement on early withdrawal of Turkish troops. We continue to believe the UN Secretary General's proposals offer the best prospect for a fair, just and viable future for the island. We see no other possible basis for a settlement.

A Cyprus settlement is not a precondition for opening of EU accession negotiations with Turkey.