Alan SweetmanToday I announce the appointment of Mr Alan Sweetman as Australia's next High Commissioner to Cyprus.

Relations between Australia and Cyprus are underpinned by strong people-to-people links, joint membership of the Commonwealth, and Australia's long standing support of United Nations efforts to find a just and permanent solution to the Cyprus dispute.

The extension of Australia’s police deployment to Cyprus for another two years ensures continued support for the negotiating efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide.

Australia encourages all parties to take advantage of recent positive developments and display the political will and vision necessary to finally reunify Cyprus.

Mr Sweetman is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has previously served overseas as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Kabul and at the Australian Embassy in Athens. Mr Sweetman had earlier DFAT postings in Dili and Jakarta, and with the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

Most recently, Mr Sweetman was Director of the Southern Europe Section. He has also worked as a Senior Adviser in the Australian Civil Military Centre and as Director of DFAT’s APEC Reform, Security and Technical Cooperation Section. Earlier in his career he served on China and ASEAN country desks.

Mr Sweetman will take up his appointment in September 2015. I thank outgoing High Commissioner to Cyprus, Mr Trevor Peacock, for his work in strengthening Australia’s relations with Cyprus since September 2011.

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