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
- One-on-one with Anastasia Katselas and Faye Kontos
- Golden Dawn are Nazis, plain and simple
- Melbourne cafe inspired by 1950s Greek delicatessens
- Developer Con Nikiforides dies age 56
- Greek Jewish community hails citizenship decision
- Healthy Greek olive oil bottled and consumed like medicine
- Dijsselbloem: Southern Europe spent EU money on "drinks and women"
- WHO: Greece far exceeds normal rate of C-section births
- New animation by Pixar veteran based on Greek myths
- Athens to become a safe, sustainable capital
- Four dead in tragic accident on Greek highway
- Turkey threatens Greece and Cyprus
- Parthenon voted the most beautiful building in the world
- RIP George Hatzipanagiotis
- World's most beautiful street located in Greece
- Healthy and delicious meals to carry us through Greek Orthodox Lent
- Brother of alleged Bourke Street murderer, Angelo Gargasoulas jailed for two months
- Greece looks to become top tourism destination in the world
- The best IGA in the world belongs to a Greek migrant from Ikaria
- Nine Evzones are coming to Australia
Three-time Olympian Vasiliki Millousi stars in the film Gymnast at the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
John Vithoulkas explores what defines a modern Greek: Name? Blood? Or heart?
The National Theatre of Northern Greece is on a mission to restore and maintain the Forest Theatre in Thessaloniki.
Dr Stefanos Dimitrakopoulos' invaluable contribution to Melbourne research will help advance our understanding of brain changes in schizophrenia.
The redevelopment has been made possible by a funding contribution of $350,000 from the Victorian Government.
Australia will play Iraq on Thursday evening in the first of the World Cup Qualifiers.
The European Commission says exports will be the main opportunity for Greece to recover economically.
Greek Orthodox Community of NSW votes 55 per cent 'yes'.
Having visited and written about Greek communities in various parts of the world, Alexander Billinis turns his attention back home, to his own Greek community.
Vouzas: "In the end we managed to gather ourselves and got this draw”
The world's most beautiful street is found in Molyvos on the island of Lesvos.
On many occasions Mr Turnbull has turned to Greece to express his love of democracy, to link the west to our past, but is his idea of Australia truly democratic?
The 27-year-old came first in the women's pole vault event in Serbia.
Two Greek entrepreneurs are behind OLEO, designed to be taken as a nutritional supplement for its health benefits.
The feature explores the creative renaissance Greece is currently experiencing, as the number of holidaymakers from the UK skyrockets.
In just five days Australia will take on the UAE in Sydney.
Eleni Kollias-Panagakis and mum Angie head Chicago-based Limani Designs, creating bespoke events that are all about the detail.
'O Drakos /The Ogre of Athens' is considered by many to be the best Greek film of its time.