Hosting a reception at his South Nicosia residence recently to mark the 93rd birthday of Queen Elizabeth, British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie said the UK had “followed recent developments in the [region] with concern”.
He told guests: “As a committed friend and partner of the Cypriot people, and as a guarantor power, Britain has continued to support a just, democratic and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, so that Cyprus can achieve her full potential as a regional hub of peace, stability and prosperity in the eastern Mediterranean . . .
“We believe it is critical for stability in the region . . . that disputes are resolved, not through force, militarisation or coercion, but through dialogue and in accordance with international law.
“We have called on Turkey not to drill in this area.”
Speaking at the reception, Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades was quoted in the South's press as saying that outgoing prime minister Theresa May had expressed to him Britain’s “opposition” to Turkey’s planned drilling in the waters claimed by the South as its Exclusive Economic Zone and to have said that “Britain recognises the sovereign rights of [South] Cyprus in relation to . . . natural resources”.
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