A new Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner steps in

Cyprus Today - - NEWS - By ANNE CANALP

A NEW Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner starts work in Cyprus on April 30, when Stephen Lil­lie takes the reins from out­go­ing in­cum­bent Matthew Kidd.

Re­cently ap­pointed Com­pan­ion of the Or­der of St Michael and St Ge­orge in the 2017 Birthday Hon­ours List, Mr Lil­lie has al­ready been talk­ing to Cypri­ots in Bri­tain.

He met mem­bers of the Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Cyprus in the Bri­tish Par­lia­ment last month, when chair­man Ja­son Charam­bolous briefed him on “hopes of Cyprus-UK bi­lat­eral post-Brexit re­la­tions and the role of the size­able Bri­tish Cypriot com­mu­nity”.

MPs present in­cluded Theresa Vil­liers, Matthew Of­ford, Martin Vick­ers and Sh­eryll Mur­ray.

Mr Lil­lie also joined a work­ing din­ner in Lon­don with the Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Cypri­ots in the UK, headed by Chris­tos Karao­lis, a former bar­ris­ter who is a mem­ber of the South Cyprus-linked Over­seas Cypri­ots Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, vice-pres­i­dent of the World Fed­er­a­tion of Over­seas Cypri­ots, a Greek Cypriot Brother­hood com­mit­tee mem­ber and a found­ing mem­ber and hon­orary pres­i­dent of the global Young Cypri­ots as­so­ci­a­tion, Ne­po­mak.

The High Com­mis­sioner-in-wait­ing also met pro-Turk­ish Cypriot par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.

Turk­ish Cypriot-ori­gin peer Baroness Hus­sein-Ece said: “Mr Lil­lie con­tacted the All-Party Par­lia­men­tary Turk­ish Group and asked to meet us and we had a good meet­ing some weeks ago.”

She added: “He had not yet taken up his post and it is worth not­ing that he is the first High Com­mis­sioner to meet us in the UK.”

Mr Lil­lie, a mar­ried fa­ther of two, has spent the last year learn­ing Greek, hav­ing mas­tered Man­darin Chi­nese early in his ca­reer af­ter gain­ing an MA in mod­ern lan­guages at Ox­ford.

Di­rec­tor of the Asia Pa­cific For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice from 2013 to 2017, he spent the pre­ced­ing four years as Bri­tish am­bas­sador in Manila, Philip­pines.

He be­gan his ca­reer in 1988 in the Mid­dle East Depart­ment, be­com­ing Sec­ond and later First Sec­re­tary (eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal) in Bei­jing from 1992 to 1995. Three year­long post­ings fol­lowed as head of sec­tion in the Euro­pean Union Depart­ment (In­ter­nal) and Hong Kong Depart­ment, and deputy head of the China Hong Kong Depart­ment.

Mr Lil­lie then served four years as con­sul-gen­eral in Guangzhou, mov­ing on to New Delhi from 2003 to 2006 and head­ing the For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice’s Far East­ern Depart­ment from 2006 to 2009.

Stephen Lil­lie (left) with Euripi­des L Evriv­i­ades, the Greek Cypri­ots’ High Com­mis­sioner in the UK

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