Next week I am visiting Cyprus for discussions on transport, infrastructure and joint business opportunities.
Australia and Cyprus share a close and longstanding relationship that is underpinned by strong people-to-people links and joint membership of the Commonwealth.
Australia’s Cypriot community continues to make an important contribution to the diversity of our country. Cypriot-born migrants and their families in Australia number over 80,000, making it the second largest Cypriot community outside Cyprus.
I have been a long term advocate of justice for Cyprus and on Sunday I will be attending the commemoration at Martin Place and later at the Cyprus Community Club in my electorate.
My visit is the second visit by a Member of the Federal Labor Government since 2007. The last visit was undertaken in 2008 by the then Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith. As well, this will be my second visit to Cyprus since my election to Parliament.
While in Cyprus, I plan to hold a bilateral meeting with the Minister for Communication and Works, Efthemios Flourentzou.
As nations with significant shipping interests, we will discuss joint maritime opportunities and cooperation on issues such as protection of the marine environment and maritime security.
I also plan to call on President Demetris Christofias, Foreign Minister Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and Head of AKEL (Progressive Workers Party) Andros Kyprianou during my visit.