Cyprus settlement ‘key’ to solution of region’s tensions: UK minister
A settlement for the Cyprus issue is “key” to the resolution of the tensions in the Mediterranean, according to Wendy Morton, the U.K.’s minister for European Neighbourhood.
Speaking during an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk, Morton said that the U.K. supports a “comprehensive, fair and lasting” settlement to the Cyprus issue.
“A Cyprus settlement remains absolutely key to resolving some of the wider tensions in the region. As by the U.K., very supportive of U.N. secretary-general’s role in this regard,” she said.
“[The settlement] should be based on the internationally accepted model as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that has political equality as set out in the [U.N.] Security Council resolutions,” she added.
The U.K. is encouraging all sides to work with “flexibility” and find a “mutually acceptable solution” to the issue, Morton underlined.
Morton was in Turkey for talks and visited the capital Ankara and the southern province of Hatay, which hosts the U.N. cross-border aid operations to Syria.
During her stay in Hatay, the minister visited the Bab al-Hawa border crossing and reiterated the U.K.’s call for the essential aid corridor to remain open. The visit came at a critical time, almost two weeks before a UNSC vote where members will decide whether to keep the crossing open.
“The Bab al-Hawa border crossing must remain open so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can reach the most vulnerable Syrians,” sha said. Morton also expressed the U.K. humanitarian support to Syrians in northwestern Syria.
“The U.K., as a force for good in the region, will be voting in favour of maximum humanitarian access at the UNSC so that charities operating in northwest Syria can continue their life-saving work. More than 13 million Syrians remain in dire need of support across the war-torn country,” she said.
Turkey’s place on UK’s travel red list
Regarding Turkey’s place on the U.K.’s red list for travel during the coronavirus pandemic, Morton said that she discussed the topic with Turkish ministers.
“I absolutely understand the importance of the tourism sector here in Turkey. There are many Brits who enjoy their holidays to Turkey,” she said.
However, the U.K. is determining which country to place on the red list for travel based on the methodology formed by the country’s chief medical officers.
“They pull together a huge amount of data that is looked at. But that data is reviewed on a regular basis, as you would’ve expected, to be the case,” she said.