British FM heads to Cyprus reunification talks

2017-01-12 16:59:36 GMT2017-01-13 00:59:36(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LONDON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson headed to Geneva Thursday to offer support for the ongoing negotiations over a possible reunification of the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London said Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan was accompanying Johnson at settlement talks to offer British support for the ongoing negotiations.

Reports in London said Prime Minister Theresa May had expressed her willingness to attend the crucial Cypriot-led settlement talks.

Their attendance Thursday at the UN-facilitated talks in Geneva on is part of Britain's ongoing support, the FCO said.

Ahead of the talks, Johnson said: "I welcome the continued courage and commitment that has been shown by both sides. The talks in Geneva on the Cyprus settlement offer both sides a unique opportunity to find a solution. The UK fully supports the settlement process and is ready and willing to help in any way it can.

"I hope that all those involved will approach the talks with a sense of openness and flexibility. I believe that if approached in this light, a solution is in reach to bring lasting peace to Cyprus."

The FCO said the British government is attending the Geneva talks as a Guarantor Power under a 1960 Treaty.

An FCO spokesman said: "As such we have a longstanding commitment, alongside our Guarantor Power partners, Greece and Turkey, to support the two communities as they work to find a successful solution to the Cyprus problem."

Even if the talks in Geneva pave the way for a re-union between both sides, they final decision will be in the hands of Cyprus's Greek and Turkish communities through an island-wide referendum.