PRIME Minister Julia Gillard and British Foreign Secretary William Hague have discussed the need to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the conflict in Syria as priority issues.
While Mr Hague has welcomed Australia’s election to the UN security council in talks on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Vientiane on Tuesday, it’s understood he also advised Ms Gillard to prepare for “a challenging period”.
There would be a “very strong focus” on Iran and Syria, he is believed to have told the prime minister.
Ms Gillard has already expressed concern about Iran and Syria, with other leaders in Laos telling French President Francois Hollande on Monday evening that Australia would continue to call for “strong sanctions” against the government in Tehran.
It’s understood Ms Gillard also told Mr Hollande that Australia had “consistently expressed its strong concerns” about Iran’s nuclear program and its failure to abide by its Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and International Atomic Energy Agency obligations.
In her meeting with Mr Hague, the prime minister also discussed the war in Afghanistan, including support for the war-torn nation after foreign forces leave the country at the end of 2014. – AAP