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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11563

Death of President Hafez Al-Assad of Syria

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/06/2000

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 11563

On behalf of all Australians, I have today written to the Prime Minister of Syria, Mr Mohamed Mustapha Miro, to extend to the government and people of Syria and to President Hafez al-Assad's family my condolences following the death of President Assad.

For thirty years President Assad led Syria through a turbulent period in the region's history. He was one of the most influential leaders in the Middle East.

We in Australia greatly valued the decision he took recently to participate in talks aimed at achieving peace in the Middle East. I would like strongly to urge President Assad's successor to continue down this path. Prosperity and an enduring regional peace would be a fitting tribute and the most appropriate epitaph to President Assad's life and to his commitment to serving his country.

Australia will be represented at the funeral of President Assad on 13 June in Damascus by our Ambassador to Syria, Victoria Owen.

13 June 2000

Transcript 11563