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PM must clarify Australian Government involvement in Libya

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The Hon Julie Bishop, MP Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Deputy Leader of the Opposition Member for Curtin

PM must clarify Australian Government involvement in Libya

Monday, 02 May 2011

The Australian Government must clarify its level of involvement in the Libyan conflict after reports today that Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd will attend a meeting of the Libya contact group as a full member.

Australia was admitted as an observer at the time of the group’s formation in March and the Prime Minister must reveal what commitments have been made which have resulted in the upgrade of Australia’s status.

The Prime Minister must also reveal the implications that come from this change in status.

The Coalition is also concerned about the fact that Australia is the third largest donor of humanitarian aid to Libya, behind only the United States and European Union.

While Australia should shoulder its fair share of the burden of international efforts, it would be concerning if there were a reluctance to donate from nations closer to Libya and those with greater strategic interests in the region.