Australia voices concern about foreign militants fighting in Syria

Australia voices concern about foreign militants fighting in Syria
Tue Apr 22, 2014 09:23:46

The Australian foreign minister expressed concern over the number of foreign militants fighting in Syria, stressing that it was illegal for Australian citizens to fight in the Arab country.

It is against the law in Australia for an Australian citizen and a dual citizen to take part in the fighting in Syria on either side, it's against the law, and so it's a matter of deep concern for Australia, it's a matter of concern for other countries,” Julie Bishop said in a press conference in the Jordanian capital, Amman on Saturday.

She went to say that “I don't know the answer to how we resolve this, but we're trying to work with other like minded countries to convince people that they should not be leaving Australia to take part in the fighting.”

Bishop also visited a Syrian refugee registration center in the Jordanian capital and spent time talking to refugees about their experiences.

Australia agreed to take 500 refugees in October last year - that figure has now doubled.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- support the militants operating inside the country.

More than 150,000 people have been killed and two million Syrians are expected to take refuge outside the country while another 2.25 million are predicted to be internally displaced in 2014.

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