Britain’s High Commissioner to Cyprus, Matthew Kidd, and the British Ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore, were recently in Ankara to discuss the upcoming June 28 Cyprus Conference in Geneva.
The United Kingdom can help by speaking with all parties, Kidd told Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’. He noted that the Greek Cypriots and Ankara had not talked very much.
The two Cypriot communities are closer than ever to an agreement, for a variety of reasons, said Kidd. The two communities had been able to interact more easily, since the border crossing points were opened. In the days of the 2004 Annan Plan, they were much more suspicious of each other, he said, as there had been little communication for thirty years. “Now there has been a different kind of engagement on the island on a public level,” Kidd said.
In order to contribute to a comprehensive agreement between the two communities, the UK is ready to transfer a portion of its sovereign territory from the British military bases on Cyprus to the people of the island, Richard Moore told Hurriyet.
“We will be ready to do what we can again in helping with some territory, so we would probably give some territory from our sovereign base areas that would help when there are small percentages being calculated,” Moore said, referring to a British proposal at the time of the Annan Plan in 2004.
In the context of the Annan Plan, Britain offered to cede a significant part of the military bases on the island, and the British diplomats assured that the proposal was still on the table.
“We have reconfirmed that we would do the same,” Kidd said.
Asked if the status of British military bases on the island, Akrotiri and Dhekalia, would change in the event of a settlement in Cyprus, Kidd said Britain hoped they would not.