Theresa May assures Cyprus leader of support in ending partition


Theresa May has told the president of Cyprus that Britain will do everything it can to help end the partition of the island nation.

The Prime Minister discussed the latest developments in talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus with Nicos Anastasiades in a phone call on Sunday afternoon.

Two days of expert talks which this week marked the latest step towards ending division between the Greek and Turkish communities were described by the United Nations as a success.

Any settlement will have to be supported in separate referendums of the two communities. A previous agreement in 2004 was rejected by Greek Cypriot voters.

The Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops staged an invasion in response to a coup by Greek Cypriots aimed at uniting with Greece.

UN peacekeepers continue to patrol the buffer zone between the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north - recognised only by Turkey - and the internationally-recognised Greek Cypriot south.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister spoke to President Nicos Anastasiades this afternoon. They discussed the latest developments in the ongoing Cyprus settlement talks and the historic opportunity to resolve this long running dispute.

"They discussed the need for leadership and flexibility on all sides, and the Prime Minister made clear that the UK would continue to do all we could to help achieve a successful settlement."