The UK is entering the second week of the Crans-Montana talks with a delegation headed by Jonathan Allen, an experienced diplomat, head of the National Security department at the Foreign Office.
Allen has been representing the UK since the beginning of the talks in Switzerland.
Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan, who had returned to the Conference on Friday afternoon, following his presence there at the start of the talks on Wednesday, departed for London on Saturday evening. During his two-day presence in Crans-Montana he led the British delegation and held separate meetings with all parties.
A UK Government source told the Cyprus News Agency that “both the Minister and the Foreign Secretary (Boris Johnson) are closely following the talks and are in touch with the UK negotiating team, who have been representing the UK throughout the talks.”
They added that “British support of the talks and of both leaders remains strong.”
Government officials in London have described the UK’s role in what is being referred to as the “new phase” of the Conference as “a support role”, in order to create fertile ground for further detailed negotiations and possibly for decisions based on specific proposals by the parties.
Reports of UK proposals and initiatives continue to be downplayed by the UK Government, which keeps its cards close to its chest as far as the new phase of the talks is concerned.