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Syrian air strikes: PM Abbott throws Australia onto the wrong side of history

The Australian Greens have condemned the Abbott Government's decision to commence airstrikes in Syria, warning it will worsen the refugee crisis and aggravate extremism.

"At a time when our community is desperate to show compassion to people fleeing war in Syria, Tony Abbott is dropping bombs," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"I'm so proud of the way Australians have told the government loud and clear that we are strong enough to offer protection to people seeking refuge from war.

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Greens call for genuine strength in Syrian response

The Australian Greens have today called on the Abbott Government not to mistake the use of force with showing genuine strength when it comes to helping the four million people fleeing Syria.

“Four million people are fleeing war in Syria at a time when there are record numbers of displaced people around the world. We are strong enough to give a home to 20,000 extra refugees without trading one vulnerable fleeing family for another,” said Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale.

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Parliament should decide on Syria bombing, not Abbott or US

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale says it shouldn't be up to Tony Abbott or the United States to decide if Australia will join air strikes in Syria.

"Australia needs to have its own independent foreign policy, and the Parliament should decide whether or not we send Australians into harm's way," Senator Di Natale said.

"Ultimately it doesn't matter if the request to bomb Syria came from Mr Abbott or the US - the only way to be sure that political self-interest doesn't determine whether our troops are put in danger is for the Parliament to decide.

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Di Natale welcomes change of heart on West Papua and announces visit

Australian Greens spokesperson for West Papua, Senator Richard Di Natale, today welcomed the comments by the Governor of Papua Lukas Enembe that West Papua is now open to journalists and human rights monitors and has announced that he will visit the province.

“I had been planning to visit West Papua and today I’m announcing my intention to do so in the coming months,” said Senator Di Natale, founding co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua group. “I will invite a delegation of journalists and human rights representatives to join me on the trip.”

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Bishop must explain conflicting reports of West Papua incident: Greens

Australian Greens spokesperson for West Papua, Senator Richard Di Natale, today has written to the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to request a full account of the events relating to three West Papuans entering the Australian Consulate in Bali over the weekend. “Given that the lives of three West Papuans were potentially put at risk by the actions of the Australian Consulate over the weekend, it’s crucial that we get to the bottom of conflicting reports about what actually took place,” said Senator Di Natale, founding co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua group.

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Papuans “had a gun to their heads”: Greens

Australian Greens Senator, Richard Di Natale, today called on Trade Minister Andrew Robb to explain misleading remarks about West Papuans who visited the Australian consulate in Bali over the weekend to raise awareness of human rights issues in West Papua. “Andrew Robb stated very clearly that the three Papuans left voluntarily. But after hearing directly from the West Papuans involved, we now know the truth is that they only did so after being threatened with being handed over to the Indonesian police,” said Senator Di Natale.

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