Foreign Minister Bob Carr has renewed calls for Russia to support the removal from office of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as a step towards ending Syria's ongoing civil war which has claimed more than 10,000 lives.
"The world has again been appalled by the reported slaughter of up to 200 civilians in the town of Tremseh," Senator Carr said.
"This is another brutal and barbaric crime against innocent civilians.
"The use of artillery, tanks and helicopters provides clear evidence of the Assad regime's involvement.
"The only solution to the Syrian civil war remains the six-point peace plan brokered by UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan.
"But an immediate stumbling block is President Assad, whose complicity in these massacres impedes negotiations between government and rebels.
"We share the views of the United States and other nations, that a transition of power away from President Assad would be a step toward implementing the ceasefire that the people of Syria so desperately require."
Senator Carr said he had instructed his Department to communicate Australia's views to the Russian Chargé d'Affaires, Mr Nikolay Nozdrev.
Australia remains committed to a unified international response on Syria, through adoption of a new Chapter VII resolution at the United Nations Security Council.
Senator Carr said Australia is seeking international support for this action through the Ambassador to the UN, Mr Gary Quinlan.
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