MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Senator the Hon. Bob Carr
UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS WITH SYRIAN OPPOSITION
July 27, 2013
(Translation of this article appears in Arabic section)
Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcomed the first meeting on 26 July between UN Security Council members and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, led by its newly elected President Ahmad al-Jarba.
Senator Carr said the meeting reflected sustained efforts by Australia and other Council members to maintain the Security Council’s focus on Syria.
“The situation in Syria is getting worse every day,” Senator Carr said.
“Over 100,000 people have now been killed in the conflict and millions of people are homeless and without proper food or medical care. About 2 million are now refugees in neighbouring countries.
“Australia’s strong view is that the only solution to this conflict is a political settlement, and we welcome the National Coalition’s confirmation at the meeting that it is committed to such a settlement.
“It is vital that the proposed Geneva II conference is held as soon as possible, so agreement can be reached on a political transition.’’
Senator Carr said Australia acknowledged the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in December 2012.
“Australia welcomes the new leadership of the National Coalition and its expanded political body as an indication of its commitment to broad representation,” Senator Carr said.
“We commend the commitment of the National Coalition’s leadership to a democratic and pluralistic Syria where all minorities have a place and for rejecting terrorism and extremism.
“These are fundamental principles on which a new Syria needs to be built.
“Australia will continue to support the Syrian people, including through our humanitarian contribution which has now reached $100 million.”