On 17 May I will represent Australia at the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Vienna. The meeting will be co-chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The conflict in Syria has created a shocking humanitarian crisis and provided a breeding ground for terrorist groups such as ISIL to thrive. Ultimately the only solution to the crisis in Syria is to end the conflict.

This is the first time Australia has been represented at the ISSG meeting, and I will work with counterparts to progress an end to hostilities and improve humanitarian access to civilians in Syria, conditions that support UN-mediated Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

The ISSG was formed to support the peace process in Syria. Australia adds strong experience on humanitarian issues to the ISSG, having co-authored the ground-breaking resolutions on humanitarian access in Syria during our UN Security Council term.

Australia is a substantial contributor to the international coalition against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, and brings to the ISSG a commitment to combatting groups including ISIL.

I look forward to attending the ISSG meeting and to lending Australia’s voice to the call for an end to the terrible crisis in Syria.

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