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Cyprus and Taiwan: Sovereignty

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL10352, tabled on 16 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 10 November (HL9658), what assessment they have made of any difference between their policies towards recognising (1) the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and (2) Taiwan; what are the reasons for any such differences; and what plans they have to treat both territories equally.

Answered on

24 November 2020

Taiwan and the northern part of Cyprus are two very different political realities. HMG's position is informed by the particular context of each situation.

A comprehensive settlement to end the division of Cyprus is the best way to resolve the challenges faced by both Cypriot communities, and the UK is encouraging the parties to demonstrate their renewed commitment to that end. In line with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" as an independent state. Our position respects UN Security Council resolutions on the issue. The UK recognises only one Cypriot state - the Republic of Cyprus - and only one government as the sole legitimate government.

The UK's longstanding policy on Taiwan has not changed: we have no diplomatic relations with Taiwan but a strong, unofficial relationship, based on dynamic commercial, educational and cultural ties. We regularly lobby in favour of Taiwan's participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite.