Middle East

Australia urges Russia to support removal of Assad

This handout photo received on July 14, 2012 from AUSAID shows Australian Foriegn Affairs Minister Bob Carr visiting a project supported by Australian Aid in the village of Umbulharjo in Yogjakarta. AFP PHOTO / AUSAID / JOSH ESTEY

MAGELANG, Indonesia: Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr on Sunday called on Russia to support the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad from office, following the latest massacre which rebels blame on regime troops.

"President Assad must go, and the way of getting rid of him is for Russia to exert its influence in Damascus and for Russia to vote in favour of comprehensive sanctions in the U.N. Security Council," he told reporters.

"With him gone you can have negotiations between other components of the regime in Damascus and the opposition - all elements of the opposition," he said.

Carr was at Borobudur temple in Central Java as part of his official visit to Indonesia, ahead of talks with senior officials in Jakarta this week.

Activists say more than 150 people were killed in last week's deadly attack on the Syrian village of Treimsa, which has sparked international outcry and added urgency to deadlocked Security Council negotiations on a Syria resolution.

Western nations have proposed a resolution that would impose sanctions on the Assad regime over the conflict, which rights activists say has cost more than 17,000 lives.

They also want to give the UN observer mission a new mandate, but for only 45 days. Their mandate ends on July 20.

Russia has rejected as unacceptable any use of sanctions.





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