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Cyprus House President begins official meetings in Australia
2005-03-15 12:10:16

Nicosia, Mar 15 (CNA) -- Cyprus House President Demetris Christofias began today his official meetings in Australia with an encounter in Canbera with the President of the Senate Paul Calvert and the House President David Hawker.

A House press release said that Christofias briefed the two Presidents on developments in the Cyprus problem and asked Calvert and Hawker to intervene towards the Australian government to ensure that the small Australian police team, serving with the UN peace-keeping force on the island, does not leave.

As regards the Cyprus problem, Christofias said that the arbitration of the UN Secretary General in the peace negotiations has proved to be unbalanced and stressed the need for changes to a UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan plan) that will address the legitimate concerns of the Greek Cypriot side so that an agreed settlement is reached.

Christofias has also met Senator Amanda Vastone, Minister of Immigration and Multiculture.

He briefed her on the Cyprus issue and referred to the good relations between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot immigrants in Australia.

He referred to the good relations between the two communities in Cyprus in the past, pointing out that the partial lifting of restrictions on free movement on the island (two years ago) has led to good relations between ordinary people.

In April 2003 the Turkish Cypriot occupation regime lifted partially restrictions it had imposed on free movement to and from the island's northern Turkish occupied areas.

The House President asked the Minister to help so that the Australian police peace force remains in Cyprus.

Christofias visited the Sidney Municipality where he addressed a ceremony on the Day of Harmony.

Tomorrow he will be received by Australian Prime Minister John Howard and meet the opposition leader Kim Beazly, the Foreign Minister Alexander Donwer, the shadow Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, the Justice Minister Christ Ellison, the Citizenship Minister Peter McGauran and the President of the Australian-Cyprus Parliamentary Group George Brandis.

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