With its flag lowered one final time, Australia has ended 53 years of helping to keep the peace on the ethnically divided Cyprus by pulling out its last three police officers serving with a United Nations peacekeeping force. Some 1,600 Australian police officers have served in Cyprus since 1964 following the outbreak of violence between the island's Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. Three Australians were killed in the line of duty in what was the country's first policing contribution to a peacekeeping mission. A flag-lowering ceremony Friday brought together many officers who had served in Cyprus over the decades. A 2015 rethink of Australia's overseas peacekeeping commitments called for the redeployment of personnel on missions closer to the country and to help combat the terrorism threat.
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