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Wednesday, 16 November 1983
Page: 2780


Mr MORRISON —Will the Prime Minister define the Government's attitude to the establishment of a so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the declaration of its independence from Cyprus?


Mr HAWKE —I thank the honourable member for St George for his question. The Government learned with great concern last night that the self-styled Turkish Federated State of Cyprus had passed a resolution approving the establishment of a so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and a declaration of independence. The Foreign Minister immediately brought this matter to my attention last night and issued a statement, a copy of which I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows-

CYPRUS

The Australian Government is gravely concerned at reports tonight that the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus has passed a resolution approving the establishment of a so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and a declaration of independence.

Australia condemns this declaration and calls for it to be withdrawn.

Australia will be taking immediate steps to urge upon the Government of Turkey to use whatever influence it might have with the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus to withdraw this declaration.

At the same time the Australian Government will be urging on all parties in this matter the need for restraint in the face of a potentially inflammatory situation.

The Australian Government would additionally strongly support and encourage the UN Secretary- General in efforts to achieve a solution.

Our greatest concern is that the civilian authorities should not be undermined or the general stability of the region be put at risk by renewed disorder.

Australia's commitment to UNFICYP (United Nations Force in Cyprus) and the presence in Cyprus of the AUSTCIVPOL (Australian Civilian Police) contingent automatically involves us in international efforts to deal with the situation created by this action.

The Australian Government will be carefully monitoring the situation and if AUSTCIVPOL were placed in jeopardy by an outbreak of hostilities a decision would have to be taken on whether to withdraw the contingent.


Mr HAWKE —I am indebted to the Leader of the Opposition. In that statement the Foreign Minister condemned this declaration and called for it to be withdrawn. I hope that I will be speaking for all honourable members when I say that here today I reiterate that condemnation and that call. In his statement of last night, the Foreign Minister indicated that Australia would be taking immediate steps to urge the Government of Turkey to use whatever influence it might have with the Turkish community on Cyprus to withdraw this declaration. Unfortunately we have since learned that the Government of Turkey has recognised this unilateral declaration of independence by the Turkish community on Cyprus. This morning the Secretary to the Department of Foreign Affairs called in the Turkish charge-d'affaires to express regret at this action by the Turkish Government. The establishment of this so-called republic is in violation of international law. It is in specific violation of a number of United Nations Security Council resolutions to which Australia subscribes and it endangers the peace and stability of this troubled area.

The division of Cyprus since 1974 has caused a great deal of human suffering which can only be worsened following this recent development. Australia's commitment to a United Nations force in Cyprus and the presence in Cyprus of the Australian civilian police contingent automatically involve us in international efforts to deal with the situation created by this irresponsible action. I am certain that I will be speaking for the whole of the House when I say that we hope that a negotiated settlement can be achieved as soon as possible which will ensure the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus and which will safeguard the legitimate interests of both communities on the island. We will strongly support international efforts to this end, including through the United Nations. We urge on all parties restraint in this dangerous situation.

Finally, the Foreign Minister has met today with the High Commissioner for Cyprus and separately with the Greek Vice-Minister responsible for Greeks abroad , Mr Fotilas, who is with us today, and with the Greek Ambassador. The Foreign Minister has done that to emphasise our support for the continuing unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus and our condemnation and non- recognition of this declaration of independence.