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Australian envoy conveys message of encouragement to Cyprus
2005-06-06 14:11:45

Nicosia, Jun 5 (CNA) - Australia's special envoy for Cyprus Jim Short met this morning in Nicosia with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, to whom he conveyed a message of encouragement to see a just and equitable solution at a date as soon as it can be done.

In statements after the meeting, Short expressed hope that all parties involved want a solution, noting however that the question is how one can best bring them together to reach an agreed solution.

Short said he had ''a very productive and interesting discussion'' with President Papadopoulos, noting that ''this is the last of my meetings in Cyprus where I've been for four or five days.''

He noted that during his stay he spoke with ''the leaders in both the north and the south as part of a visit to Washington, Ankara, Athens and Cyprus and I'm now off to Brussels and London.''

''I've been very interested to hear the latest thinking on all parties as to the present situation in relation to the Cyprus problem and the prospects for the future. I've brought a message from the Australian government to everyone I've spoken to of encouragement on our part to see a just and equitable solution at a date as soon as it can be done after a problem that has existed for, I think we would all agree, far too long,'' he added.

Asked what the prospects were for a settlement, Short said ''that is not something I can comment on at the moment but discussions of course have been frank and confidential, and it will depend a great deal on, I would imagine, the results of Sir Kieran Prendergast (UN Under-Secretary General),'' who was on the island last week.

Replying to questions, Short expressed certainty that President Papadopoulos ''does want a solution and I hope that all parties want a solution but the question is how we can best bring them together to reach an agreed solution.''

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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