March 28, 2004

Antipodean Accolades

Thanks to Prime Minister John Howard and Australia for sticking with the US and the UK to fight the War on Terrorism on all fronts:

SYRIA has appealed to Australia to use its close ties with Washington to help the Arab nation shake off its reputation as a terrorist haven and repair its relations with the US.

Secret talks between the two nations have been under way for months but have become more urgent as rogue nations reconsider their role in allowing terrorists to thrive, in light of the US determination to take pre-emptive military action.

A Syrian embassy will be opened in Canberra in weeks and Australia is considering reopening its mission in Damascus.

Australia's close relationship with Washington, and its much higher profile in the Middle East, have prompted Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara'a and parliamentary speaker Mahmoud Al-Ibrache to appeal to Canberra to help bring their country back in from a US-imposed diplomatic freeze.

Syria has sent a delegation to Australia and has hosted a series of visits by Australian parliamentarians.

Drawing on the British-sponsored return of Libya to the international fold, Australia is demanding that Syria take a tougher role against terrorists, particularly those using the nation as a base for operations into Iraq.

Australia also has called on the former Soviet client state to abandon any pursuit of weapons of mass destruction before it returns to the fold.

As Professor Reynolds says, it's working. Does this mean that PM Howard isn't one of the foreign leaders hoping John Kerry wins in November?

Posted by Charles Austin at March 28, 2004 10:25 AM