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Straw's Opinion on Cyprus Ill-informed - Opinion

Former foreign minister Jack Straw has just published an opinion piece in The Times of London saying that the international community should think about breaking a 'taboo' and consider formal partition of Cyprus in case reunification talks don't work this time.

Just what taboo is Mr. Straw referring to? The one in which every country in the world except for Turkey refuses to recognise a state founded on the invasion of a sovereign country? If this is a taboo, then it is a just one! Mr. Straw's opinion is quite close to that of Britain's leaders during the occupation and partition of Czechoslovakia, which eventually led to World War II.

Is it a taboo to stand up for human rights? Is it a taboo to refuse to recognise a state based on violence and the breaking of international laws? Is it a taboo to deplore that Greek-Cypriot refugees do not have the right to access their lawful property in the occupied areas of the island?

Injustices have to be addressed and rectified, not classified as taboos. Cypriots need to be encouraged to reunify and Turkey must withdraw its troops from the island, and none of that would be effected by partition. Indeed, partition may even lead to more inter-communal fighting should relations between the Greek-and-Turkish Cypriots become bad enough.

As a member of the European Union, Britain should be supporting EU values and human rights as strongly as it can given that it is an ally of Greece and Turkey. What British officials should not be doing is encouraging Turkey's illegal occupation of Cyprus by advocating the idea of formal partition.

Or is Jack Straw's deafening silence on the topic of Turkish troops in Cyprus a taboo that should never be broken?

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