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Talks with Vice President Biden

March 25, 2013

North Korea, Syria and the Middle East peace process will be on the agenda in talks between Foreign Minister Bob Carr and US Vice-President Joe Biden at the White House today.

Speaking from Washington DC, Senator Carr said he would be seeking US views on additional autonomous sanctions on North Korea as well as enforcement of existing measures.

“North Korean militarism poses a hazard to the lives of millions across the Asia-Pacific,” Senator Carr said.

“Existing sanctions have made a difference. But we’ll consider what further action may be needed to force a change in direction by this secretive and erratic regime.

“North Korea was the first item that John Kerry raised with me in talks last Monday. It will be discussed again with the Vice President today.”

Senator Carr said he would also reaffirm the Australia-UK position established in January this year – that US leadership was essential in restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I’m encouraged by President Obama’s recent statements on Middle East peace, which closely accord with Australia’s view,” Senator Carr said.

“Australia supports a two-state solution, negotiated without preconditions and delivering an independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

“I’ll also seek renewed US support for the global arms trade treaty currently before the United Nations, and for our Syria medical pact to protect health workers and hospitals from rebel or government attacks.”

The talks with Vice-President Biden will take place in the White House on the morning of March 25 (overnight March 25-26 AEDT). Discussions will also cover Afghanistan and Asia-Pacific regional developments.

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