Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

10 April 2001

Special Envoy for Cyprus Meets President Clerides

Australia's special envoy for Cyprus, the Hon. Jim Short, has met with the President of Cyprus, Glafcos Clerides, at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus.

President Clerides welcomed the Australian Government's appointment of Mr Short as Special Envoy and said it was further evidence of the Australian Government's commitment to a fair and just resolution of the Cyprus problem.

President Clerides thanked Australia for the 37-year presence of Australian Federal Police serving with the United Nations peace-keeping forces on Cyprus.  He said the Australian police had made an important contribution to the peace-keeping process and were held in high regard throughout Cyprus.

Mr Short said a solution to the Cyprus problem was long overdue.  He reaffirmed Australia's commitment to the United Nations-sponsored resolution process and urged all parties to the problem to share that commitment.

Mr Short told President Clerides he was visiting Cyprus to identify additional ways in which Australia could assist the United Nations in brokering a solution to the problem.

While in Cyprus, Mr Short also met with other senior members of the Government of Cyprus and with Turkish Cypriot leaders, including Rauf Denktash.

Cyprus is the first leg of  Mr Short's visits to several centres involved in the Cyprus problem.  After Cyprus, he will visit Athens, Ankara, Brussels, London, Washington and New York.

Australia has the second-largest Cypriot population outside Cyprus after the United Kingdom.

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