Cyprus European Union Presidency flags over skylines Republic of Cyprus Credit: EUCyprus

Former Foreign Secretary says Cyprus shouldn’t have been allowed to join EU


Jack Straw calls on UK to “put two-state solution on the table”

Rt Hon Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary, has said that the EU should never have allowed Cyprus to join the bloc and has called on the UK to facilitate a two-state solution to resolve the Cyprus issue.

Writing for Politico, Mr Straw, who served as UK Foreign Secretary from 2001 to 2006, makes the case that the EU should have “put Cyprus’ accession on ice” in 2004 and made it clear that only a united island would be allowed to join the EU. He writes:

The bloc’s failure (to which I was a party) means the EU itself has presided over a frozen conflict.

Mr Straw goes on to say that as a result of Cyprus joining the EU, the EU has “lost all serious leverage” over Greek Cypriots who believe that any peace deal with the north will be “less satisfactory than the status quo.

He calls on the international community to commit to a two-state solution to the Cyprus issue and draws on the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia as an example of a peaceful two-state solution.

Mr Straw urges the UK to “put the two-state solution on the table and seek to persuade other partners that this is the best way to unfreeze this conflict.

Chet Ramadan, Co-Chairman of Freedom and Fairness for Northern Cyprus said:

The Greek Cypriots are in a hugely advantageous position in the negotiations because of their EU membership. They have no intention of resolving this conflict.

Mr Straw is right to call for a two-state solution. It is the only solution and the international community must help to resolve this frozen conflict at the soonest opportunity.