Australia hints at major Syria policy shift
Radio New Zealand International
September 26, 2015 7:10 pm
Australia is considering softening its opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.
Its foreign minister, Julie Bishop, says a political solution needs to be found to solve the country’s deadly four-year conflict.
Bishop hinted at the major policy shift while at the United Nations in New York.
“The fear that a number of countries have is that if the Assad regime were either removed or collapsed, it would create a vacuum, and one might find that it was filled by an even more diabolical presence than the Assad regime,” she said.
She said she was not shying away from comments Australia has made in the past about the illegitimacy of the regime.
“President Assad unleashed chemical weapons on his own people, and the death and destruction in Syria is appalling and at unprecedented levels.
“The humanitarian crisis is creating an issue throughout the Middle East and Europe, the likes of which we’ve not seen before.”
However, Bishop said, realistically, a political solution was needed, because a military solution would not be the only answer.