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Australia keen on seeing a Cyprus settlement
2005-06-02 11:50:37

Nicosia, Jun 2 (CNA) -- Australia has a very keen interest in seeing a solution to the Cyprus problem, which has persisted for far too long, Australian Special Representative for Cyprus Jim Short has said.

Speaking to the press after meeting right-wing Democratic Rally President Nicos Anastasiades, Short, who is on a tour to Washington, Athens, Ankara, Brussels, London and Nicosia, said Australia encourages all parties to do what they can to reach a solution, adding that ''it is in the interests of everyone that that solution come sooner rather than later.''

Anastasiades said Australia's interest is very well known and so are its efforts to help Cyprus reunity the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

''I have thanked him for their interest in the past and particularly for their interest at present,'' he noted.

Short said he is visiting Cyprus as part of a tour to Washington, Athens, Ankara, Brussels, London and Nicosia ''to report to you on my role as Australia's representative and envoy for Cyprus.''

He said that Australia ''has a very keen interest in seeing a solution to the Cyprus problem, which has persisted for far too long and as an important member of the UN, as a country that has a very large Cypriot community and as a country that has had an unbroken presence for more than 40 years in the peace-keeping force operations here in Cyprus we encourage all parties to do what they can to reach a solution.''

He said it was a great pleasure for him to discuss with the leaders here and in particular with Mr. Anastasiades, to hear the views of the key players both in the north and in the south and to be able to report to them on his findings from his tour.

He said he would be reporting back to his government and particularly to the Australian Prime Minister ''who only very recently has expressed Australia's very strong wish to do all that we can in whatever way we can to encourage a settlement here.''

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