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International failure on Syria: Turnbull

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/09/2016

Malcolm Turnbull says the United Nations has failed on Syria but a political solution must be reached.

The prime minister said his New Zealand counterpart John Key made a fair comment in saying the UN Security Council has shortcomings that risk undermining its relevance and standing in world affairs.

"It is a very, very complex situation, but the scale of the tragedy is so immense, the consequences are so widespread, so far-reaching, the impact on millions of people so tragic, that a resolution has to be reached," Mr Turnbull told Sky News in New York, where he is preparing to address the UN's General Assembly for the first time.

"There has certainly been a failure on Syria. I think John Key is right," Mr Turnbull said.

The situation in the war-torn country was made more complex by the fact almost all sides in the conflict had outside countries as sponsors, he added.

"The diplomatic challenge is both for the external parties... to reach agreement and then to be able to ensure that they bring the players on the ground to the table as well," Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Key told the UN the security council had fallen short.

"We are deeply troubled to see the council, the pre-eminent body for international peace and security, fail to live up to its responsibilities on the biggest crisis of our time, Syria" he said.

"The internal politics within the council and the sheer complexity of the Syria crisis have obstructed a unified council response.

"Syria is exactly the type of crisis the security council was established to address."

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