Dropping bombs on Syria to protect Iraq will not be enough in the long term to help the troubled region, Labor says.
The opposition believes international efforts need to focus on reaching a political solution to ultimately remove the Assad regime in Syria, as well as stepping up humanitarian help in the short term.
The millions of people displaced from Syria need protecting from the Assad government as well as terrorist organisations like Islamic State, Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said.
‘There’s Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the US and its allies that all need to come to the table as part of developing a solution for Syria,’ she told ABC TV on Sunday.
She also called for Middle Eastern countries, particularly Arab League nations, to do more to help people fleeing Syria.
The federal government says years-long talks about the political situation in Syria are continuing but the immediate focus has to be on stopping terrorist organisation Islamic State.
A report in The Australian newspaper last week said Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had developed a strategy to remove Assad, which they will discuss with their US counterparts during a UN summit in three weeks.
‘There is still a significant question mark over the Assad regime and what happens there,’ Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told Sky News on Sunday.
‘Everybody I have spoken to wants to see political stability, reconstruction take place, so that people can return to their country of origin.’
While he respected the views of people who attended rallies on Saturday opposing the air strikes on Syria, he vehemently disagreed with them.
He said the reach of IS was growing and advice the government’s national security committee had was that people involved in it were all significant threats to Australia.