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Special envoy for Cyprus to continue consultations.

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Media Release

Alexander Downer

Minister for Foreign Affairs



20 July 1999




I am pleased to announce that the Australian Government Special Envoy for Cyprus, Mr John Spender, will be returning to Au stralia in August for further consultations with Government and discussions with community representatives on the situation in Cyprus.


Mr Spender submitted his Report on the Cyprus situation to me at the end of last year following extensive consultations with interested parties in Australia and overseas. In Australia he consulted with community representatives, and a wide range of political and community leaders, officials, media representatives and academics in Europe, the United States, the United Nations, Canada, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Since submitting his Report, Mr Spender has continued his consultations, principally in Cyprus and Turkey.


Mr Spender will be returning to Australia to brief community representatives on his Report and to listen to their views and to brief the Government on his continuing consultations.


The need for a continuing role for the Special Envoy is underlined by the fact that this month marks the 25th anniversary since the events of 1974 which have led to the current division of Cyprus.


During this time, and indeed since the outbreak of serious post-independence communal fighting in Cyprus in 1963, the search for a lasting and just solution of the Cyprus problem has engaged the attention of several UN Secretaries General and numerous international statesmen and officials. Regrettably, despite all these efforts, and despite the fact that the elements of a settlement have long been clear, final agreement has remained elusive.


The lack of such a settlement compounds the problems arising from the division of the island and remains a source of instability and tension in the region.


I welcome the continuing efforts of the UN Secretary General, with the support of others including most recently the G8, to assist the parties towards reaching a negotiated agreement.


The Australian Government strongly supports these efforts, including through the continuing role and activities of the Special Envoy.


I call on all parties to show the necessary goodwill and spirit of compromise so as to achieve as soon as possible a lasting and just settlement.


Media Enquiries: Ministerial Innes Willox 0419 206 890

Departmental Mark Croxford 02 6261 1555



jk  1999-07-22  11:21