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Former Australian FM Downer To Chair Cyprus Talks  
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1392 times:

..I wish him and all involved politicians from both sides of the island good spirit,faith and good-will !
Seems things are getting into final gear and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat indicated that four months of discussions should be enough to open the way for a re-united Cyprus.
It would be absolutely fantastic news and help to bring more peace and stability in the region.
Both sides have suffered unneccessary loss of life and property - constant looking back does not help either the Greek Cypriotes nor the Turkish population !
Demetris Christofias and Talat seem determined not to repeat old mistakes - good luck !


http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iXdJQdC52Mt-GwGv7oNmOil9xRsQ


Please respect animals - don't eat them...
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1388 times:



Quoting Beaucaire (Thread starter):
..I wish him and all involved politicians from both sides of the island good spirit,faith and good-will !

If the Greeks and Turks have a good sense of humour, some of dear Alex's antics could put them into such fits of laughter they will not have the energy to disagree. Just check a few years of Aus political cartoons to get the feeling for what he can do!!!

I hope they do get agreement, but I doubt A D will seriously contribute.

The guy who ran the hardware store near where I lived in the UK had a permanent limp from being stationed in Cyprus during the Enosis crisis.

Someone was shooting at him so he ran across a bit of flat ground to get shelter behind a low wall (about 30 to 40 cms I think). That part was fine, except that just as he crossed the top of the wall, he found there was a 5 metre or so drop on the other side. The good part was it did give him good cover!


User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2001 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1381 times:

Wonder if Downer classifies Cyprus as a BAC.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 1):
If the Greeks and Turks have a good sense of humour, some of dear Alex's antics could put them into such fits of laughter they will not have the energy to disagree.

He'll get them talking about the things that batter. Who knows, maybe Downer was secretly able to broker the peace deal between Howard and Costello putting him in good stead for other intractable problems.  Smile

Hope they specify the dress code for the talks.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1375 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 1):
If the Greeks and Turks have a good sense of humour, some of dear Alex's antics could put them into such fits of laughter they will not have the energy to disagree. Just check a few years of Aus political cartoons to get the feeling for what he can do!!!

I hope they do get agreement, but I doubt A D will seriously contribute.

Since I know the man just from his position as former Australian FM but have never researched any of his "contributions"..- who the hell then has proposed the man if he's a lame duck ??
My only insight experiences with Australian diplomacy were contacts more than 10 years ago with Australian ambassadors in Damascus and Cairo - I was dealing in high-tech stuff and they only understood cattle and grains ...So I was not that much impressed...
(Maybe they were great for people selling frozen chickens to the Syrians..)



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2001 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1370 times:



Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 3):
My only insight experiences with Australian diplomacy were contacts more than 10 years ago with Australian ambassadors in Damascus and Cairo - I was dealing in high-tech stuff and they only understood cattle and grains

And we've just made the former leader of the "Country" (National) party an ambassador to the Vatican, so I guess he can talk cattle and grains to the Pope rather than religion. I doubt if he'll find much interest in his other passion, the railways, seeing as the Vatican has the shortest national railway system in the world!

I would refer you to a recent episode of "The Hollowmen" to further your understanding of the reasons but they only show the latest episode online.  Smile



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1359 times:



Quoting Allrite (Reply 4):
I would refer you to a recent episode of "The Hollowmen" to further your understanding of the reasons but they only show the latest episode online. Smile

Thanks for the advise - I watched part of the latest episode -can tell you the "Hollowmen" are dynamic,brillant Einstein's compared to the ones I had to deal with in the Middle East..
Can't tell all on a forum but - it's frightening..



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1357 times:



Quoting Allrite (Reply 2):
Hope they specify the dress code for the talks.

To be fair Allrite (even to be unfair come to that) you need to specify a bit more. Basically, Downer's most memorable effort was at a (?Asian) conference where he did a song and dance act dressed in fish net stockings. But he had history before that.

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 3):
Since I know the man just from his position as former Australian FM but have never researched any of his "contributions"..- who the hell then has proposed the man if he's a lame duck ??

As best I can tell, and Allrite seems about as blank on the subject and we have yet to hear from others, someone in the UN thought it would be a good idea, no doubt after Downer had explained to him that he "fancied a UN job so what was there going of suitable status" - always very fond of status. After that, the request would come to Aus, and Kevin from Heaven could hardly say no, so once the lobbying had been successful, it would have been close to a fait accompli.

That written, there is a fair bit of inner complexity within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (it abbreviates to DFAT - such that ladies from there are known as DFAT lady [De fat lady] with or without intended humour on their part) so they may even have thought it was a good idea. But I rather doubt it.

He did star in the AWB payments for trucking wheat to Saddam scandal, where with half a look it was clear there were no extra trucking fees. But it never came across his desk, or words to that effect.

There was a set of Moir cartoons in the Herald at the time which portrayed Howard, Downer and the Min for Trade (now departing Mr Vaile) as various characters from Winnie the Pooh (Downer was Winnie himself) each with a bucket pulled over their head - to avoid being able to see, or perhaps also to hear.

The things that batter comes from when he was leader of the Opposition. He has a bit of a pommie accent so batter and matter are close, and the things that batter was a joke in rather poor taste about domestic violence as well as what was important.

All in all, a man with a fair reputation for gaffes. Sorry about that to Cyprus, but we are relieved to lose him.

Still you never know, in an awkward situation where both sides in the room might start shooting him, he might turn up trumps - as they say, you just never know!!!  crossfingers   crossfingers  - no picture of crossed knees!

Confession: I have spent many happy weeks working part-time for DFAT and they have some really top notch folk on their full time staff. I did not spend as much time with them once Downer took the reins!! DFAT certainly have done some good things with Indonesia, but PNG has been a bridge too far - it appears to be a bridge too far for the inhabitants of PNG too - alas.


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