“Shady financial practices” in Cyprus have cleaned up, UK High Commissioner says

Shady financial practices” in the Republic of Cyprus have mostly been cleaned up, however, the issue persists in the occupied areas, said the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, Irfan Siddiq, Philenews informs.

Talking during a Round Table discussion on Thursday with foreign Ambassadors as part of the 21st World Conference of Cyprus Diaspora, Siddiq commended the consensus within the Cyprus government to impose sanctions on Russia, spanning both previous and current administrations.

Siddiq highlighted the significant shift of individuals engaged in money laundering away from the Republic. He characterised this as a positive step, noting the resolution of some of the questions surrounding “shady financial practices” in Cyprus, leading to a healthier economy.

Simultaneously, he pointed out that while efforts have been made to address illicit financial activities in the Republic of Cyprus, the issue persists in the occupied areas.

The High Commissioner acknowledged that “the problem is now present in the North as well and that’s a challenge for us”. He added that despite the fact that the UK government does not recognise the “authorities in the North”, they engaged with them to try to ensure that the consequences of these activities didn’t have negative impacts on both the Republic of Cyprus and the broader region.

Cyprus issue

Responding to questions about the Cyprus issue, the High Commissioner affirmed his country’s support for the reunification of the island in accordance with the UN Security Council’s parameters for a bizonal-bicommunal federation with political equality.

Siddiq stressed the collaborative responsibility of all parties involved in reaching a viable resolution. He expressed optimism about President Christodoulides’s commitment to prioritising the resolution of the Cyprus problem. Despite challenges, including those within the buffer zone and the Pyla issue, the momentum for resuming negotiations remained a government-supported priority, Siddiq noted.

Regarding the incident in Pyla, where personnel from the Turkish Cypriot assaulted UN peacekeepers who tried to block the unauthorised construction of a road within the buffer zone, Siddiq referred to the United Nations Security Council statement asserting the importance of a solution in alignment with the agreed parameters and reiterated the UK’s support towards UNFICYP.