Joan Ryan, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Enfield North, has warmly welcomed the victory of Mr Mustafa Akinci in the Turkish-Cypriot Presidential elections on Sunday 26thApril.
Ms Ryan, the former UK Special Representative to Cyprus under the last Labour Government, is calling on the newly elected leader to resume the UN-brokered negotiations with the Greek-Cypriot community as soon as possible – these talks are aimed at achieving a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation. Negotiations have been on hold since October 2014.
Joan Ryan is encouraged by Mr Akinci’s support for reunification and for his willingness to reach out to all communities in Cyprus. “I hope the decision of the people [regarding the elections] will be good for all, not only for the Turkish Cypriots but for all inhabitants of this lovely island", Mr Akinci said last week.
Ms Ryan will be seeking a meeting with Mr Akinci at the earliest opportunity, not only to reaffirm her backing for a negotiated reunion in Cyprus but also to convey to the new Turkish-Cypriot leader the strong support there is in Enfield, from both the Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot communities, for reunification and a new era of peace and prosperity on the island.
Joan Ryan, Labour candidate for Enfield North, said:
“I congratulate Mr Akinci on his election victory. This is a very positive result which can help kick-start the stalled negotiation process.
I have been encouraged by Mr Akinci’s support for reunification - 2015 could be a really important year to make significant progress towards achieving a comprehensive, negotiated settlement in Cyprus.
I hope to visit the island in the near future and have the opportunity to discuss the current situation with Mr Akinci and representatives from the Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot communities.
I know that from speaking to so many members of both communities in Enfield that there is a real desire to reunify the island based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation. I wholeheartedly support this plan.
Cyprus is very close to my heart. It was a great privilege to serve as the UK’s Special Representative to the island under a Labour Government and, if I am elected as MP for Enfield North on May 7th, I will be doing all I can in Parliament to help ensure that a negotiated reunion, led by both communities, is achieved.”