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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3164


Mr PUNCH —Can the Prime Minister inform the House of the nature of the deliberations over Cyprus at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in New Delhi? How will Australia participate in future Commonwealth activity in Cyprus?


Mr HAWKE —I believe that all members of the House share with me pleasure at the positive outcome of the CHOGM deliberations on Cyprus. The Commonwealth heads of government unanimously condemned the unilateral declaration of independence by the Turkish Cypriot authorities on 15 November and the purported creation of a seccessionist states in northern Cyprus. The Commonwealth heads of government endorsed the United Nations Security Council resolution 541, denounced the purported declaration as being legally invalid, and reiterated the call for non- recognition of the declaration by member states of the United Nations and for the immediate withdrawal of the UDI.

The assembled heads of government pledged their support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus and expressed their solidarity with President Kyprianou, who was present at our meeting, of course. I intervened to argue strongly that the Commonwealth should do all that it could to restore the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus, as well as safeguarding the legitimate interests of the two communities on that island. I indicated the support of our Government for the efforts of the United Nations in that regard and indicated the particular reasons that Australia had for this position. In addition to our general considerations, the reasons were twofold: Firstly, the very large community in Australia comprising people of Cypriot origin; and secondly, the long-standing Australian participation in the police force contingent as part of the United Nations effort on Cyprus. I entertained President Kyprianou to lunch on Tuesday of this week in New Delhi. I am pleased to inform the House that he was effusive in his expression of gratitude, not merely to the Government of Australia but also to the people of Australia, for our position in this regard. Specifically, at CHOGM a Commonwealth action group of five countries was established. I am pleased to say that Australia is one of those five countries, together with India, Guyana, Nigeria and Zambia. Together with the Secretary-General that action group has been set up to act alongside the good offices of the Secretary- General of the United Nations. Shortly before leaving New Delhi that action group met. I met with Mrs Gandhi, President Shagari, President Kaunda, Prime Minister Burnham and President Kyprianou. As a result of that meeting contact will be made shortly by Secretary-General Ramphal with the United Nations Secretary-General. I have indicated that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Hayden, will be available to go to New York and, if necessary, we hope to Ankara with the action group to pursue whatever we can do alongside the United Nations to bring an end to this unhappy and potentially tragic situation.