Minister vows ongoing support for Cyprus

first_imgIn a message to the Annual Conference of the Federation of Cyprus Communities and Organisations of Australia and NZ that took place in Perth last weekend, Jason Clare expressed his confidence in Australia maintaining its current levels of support for the divided island. Mr Clare described relations between Australia and Cyprus as being underpinned by Cypriot migration dating back to the 1950s and that a large Australian community resident in Cyprus continues to contribute to the island’s development. “These strong people-to-people links are reinforced by our joint membership of the Commonwealth, and Australia’s long-standing support for a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus issue in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus,” said Mr Clare. Australia has contributed Australian Federal Police (AFP) personnel to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) since 1964, making Australia the longest continuous serving contributor to UNFICYP. To date, 101 police contingents have been deployed to Cyprus totalling over 1574 officers. Minister Clare said that the current commitment of 15 police officers meant the AFP is providing the largest component of the United Nations Police (UNPOL) contingent. The current AFP contingent work as patrol officers, personnel officers, instructors and political liaison officers. The core role of UNPOL in UNFICYP is to resolve criminal or civil disputes, monitor activity and preserve public order in the buffer-zone. “Their contribution is highly regarded,” said the Minister, “having won praise in particular for their pragmatic, competent and neutral approach.” An AFP Superintendent has recently taken up the UN position of UNFICYP Senior Police Advisor (SPA) in Cyprus. The post is responsible for the management, direction, deployment and control of international police in Cyprus. In his address to the 41st Annual Conference, Mr Clare stressed the Australian government’s desire to uphold its commitment to Cyprus. “I assure you that Australia’s support for the work of UNFICYP remains an important part of our endorsement of the reconciliation process and for a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus issue,” said Mr Clare, “we are as committed to the AFP mission in Cyprus as we have ever been.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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