Bi-partisan support for Cyprus reunification
Federal Parliament passes motion by Maria Vamvakinou, reaffirming its support for a fair and just resolution to the Cyprus problem
As the world prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of the Cyprus invasion by Turkey, Australia has reaffirmed its position, calling for the demilitarisation and reunification of the island.
Greek Australian MP Maria Vamvakinou spearheaded a motion in Federal Parliament this week, calling for bi-partisan support in aiding peace processes for the reunification of Cyprus.
The motion was passed without debate, with Labor MP Anthony Albanese and Liberal MP Matthew Williams showing their support in parliament.
"We've secured ongoing continuing bi-partisan support both from the government member, Matt Williams who spoke, and our side, that we continue to support a resolution for Cyprus," Ms Vamvakinou told Neos Kosmos.
Flying to Cyprus this weekend, Ms Vamvakinou will be in the country to witness anniversary commemorations, while also reiterating Australia's support.
She believes peace is at its final stages, and is hopeful for a workable resolution that will benefit both parties.
"I think a resolution is achievable, and I think all the work that's been done brings the situation to a point where it just needs one final push."
That final push is down to the political sides of the Greek and Turkish run Cyprus reaching an agreement.
Recently there has been growing internal and international support for the reunification.
Both interfaith leaders, Greek Archbishop Chrysostomos and the Mufti of the Turkish Cypriots, Dr Talip Atalay, have voiced their views that Cyprus would benefit being reunited.
US vice-president Joe Biden said in his recent visit to Cyprus that "peace should be the Cypriots' legacy to their children".
But after 40 years of no solution, many have abandoned the idea that Cypriots will live in a unified country.
"It's been painstakingly slow at a political level," Ms Vamvakinou says.
Australia plays a vital role in showing that both sides can live harmoniously thanks to its migration legacy.
Thousands of Turkish and Greek Cypriots live side by side all around Australia, with more than 22,000 Australians tracing Cypriot ancestry.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia has been aided by the migration of Cypriot Greeks for years.
"Successive waves of newcomers eager for a better life, including many of Cypriot and Greek heritage, have enriched our culture and added a heroic dimension to our national story," he said in a message to the community through Neos Kosmos.
MP Anthony Albanese, who supported the motion, said in his constituency of Grayndler he sees Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots living in harmony.
"The Cyprus Community Club in my electorate has brought together people of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot backgrounds to recognise the cultural benefit that comes from mutual respect and understanding," he said in his speech.
Ms Vamvakinou has seen that first hand in Cyprus, with divided communities uniting under the Cypriot flag and promoting a unified identity.
"I've met with people from the other side, the Turkish Cypriots, and one of the things that struck me always was that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots
have a lot of things in common," she says.
"They are Cypriots, pushing that citizenship and identity is really important."
Currently the Australian Federal Police is taking on its 50th year stationed at the buffer zone, serving continuously as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
The AFP has had thousands of officers stationed in Cyprus, with three policemen, Sergeant Llewelyn John Thomas, Inspector Patrick Hackett and Sergeant Ian Donald Ward tragically losing their lives alongside 181 other peacekeepers in their role.
- Register Now
- Nafplion: Greece's best kept secret is out
- Your very own Garden of Eden in Templestowe
- My father, Alfredo Kouris
- Anarchy in the EU
- Greek language programs for preschoolers on the way and no merger of SBS with ABC
- A journey through millenia in the heart of Crete
- Businesses caught tax evading to face closure
- Professor Frank Sear takes us back to the glory Greece was
- Labor extends support to Melbourne's Greek community
- 'A disgraceful write-up'
- Drink spiking warning for travellers to Greece
- Peloponnese named top European destination for 2016
- How a stupid minority colludes with the stupid minority in the media to malign a community
- A mother's crusade against ice
- Michael Nicolaou places fourth in the world in Mathletics
- Soccer hooligans? Hardly
- Greece taught me how to say 'Thank you'
- Nafplion: Greece's best kept secret is out
- Swisse CEO invests in Jimmy Grants
The Greek and Gay Support Network's establishment 21 years ago taught us that it takes a lot of courage and nerve to stand against homophobia.
Greek-Brazilian Rafaela De Moura Torres describes the concept behind her line of fashion items that offer a fresh approach to the souvenir market.
A Greek fashion label based on a myth and creating one at the same time.
Northcote brings in fresh troops for relegation battle.
A deployment of twenty Greek wine producers is coming to Sydney and Melbourne, showcasing a high quality product that is thriving, despite the crisis.
Anna Bourozikas turns our attention to the industrious Greek Australian generation who have now aged.
Savvas Grigoropoulos remembers.
Triple-threat talent George Missailidis to attend the first Dance Immersive in L.A.
State Leagues reach halfway mark.
The editor of Austerity Measuresoffers her insight on the anthology and recalls discovering the Greek language on the streets of Melbourne.
The presentation will take place in Melbourne on Thursday 16 June at the Greek Centre.
Victorian educators to replace Greek taught at schools with Chinese and French.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
Michael Skibbe impressed by Greek support at Tuesday night's friendly.
Filmmaker and archivist Michael Karris has dedicated his life to the preservation of the collective memories of the Greek migrants to Australia.
A black list is in the works, of corporations in Greece with large turnover variations.
The Turnbull Government has vowed to contribute $300,000 towards the church if re-elected.
New research reveals Greece's continued success in the shipping sector.