Lidington Cyprus Property Comment Sparks Controversy
The UK government has received complaints from UK nationals about property issues in the south and north of Cyprus, said UK Minister of State Responsible for EU Affairs David Lidington during his visit to Cyprus, in a comment that sparked controversy over sensitive property rights on the island.
Responding to a question about UK nationals buying usurped Greek-Cypriot property in Turkish-held north Cyprus during a press conference in the buffer zone in Nicosia, Lidington said that he has also received complaints about delays in property titles in the south (government-controlled area). The issues of property bought in the north must be settled with a political solution, he said.
But the foreign ministry reacted against Lidington's comparison between the issues, saying that the comparison is unfortunate. Greek-Cypriot properties were stolen in the occupied areas and their owners were expelled by force as a result of the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation, said the ministry in a statement.
However, the government will try to address and resolve delays in issuing property titles in the government-controlled areas, said the foreign ministry.