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Friday, 10 May 1985
Page: 1782

(Question No. 194)

Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 15 April 1985:

Given that the Australian Government has announced its support for the Contadora peace process in Central America, will the Government ask the Contadora Governments, in particular the Mexican Government, what, in their view, Australia can do to assist the process.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Australian Government reaffirmed its support for the efforts of Contadora countries in a statement issued by the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 16 April. The statement has been brought to the attention of the governments of the Contadora and Central American countries.

Through its diplomatic representatives in Mexico City and Caracas, Australia maintains regular contact with concerned governments over developments in the Contadora process. Australian Embassy officers in both cities held discussions with Mexican and Venezuelan officials when conveying the statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In both cases, officials commented that international support was an important factor in maintaining the Contadora process and expressed appreciation of Australia's position.

During their discussions, Australian diplomatic representatives reiterated the Government's desire to assist the Contadora process to Mexican and Venezuelan officials. At this stage, no specific suggestions, other than for continuing expressions of support, have been put forward.