Although speculated on while he was the UN Special Envoy for Cyprus, Australian newspapers on Wednesday reported that Alexander Downer was a given for the post of Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK.
Downer withdrew as special envoy on February 11 only hours after the new round of talks began. The move came after President Nicos Anastasiades gave him the official stamp of disapproval months ago in a public interview, suggesting Downer was not an objective mediator.
According to Australian media on Wednesday Downer’s appointment to the high-profile London diplomatic post – a job his father once held – would not be announced until after the South Australian election in the middle of next month.
Downer, who was Australia’s longest-serving foreign minister, would replace Mike Rann, who is being moved to Rome 18 months short of the expiry of his term in the UK.
The papers said the move to the UK is understood to be Downer’s second preference after he lobbied hard for the Washington post.