Australian FM: We’ll Stay a While, Maybe Leave Later

At a press conference today, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia’s sticking around for a while, but “won’t propose to go to the conference if all it looks like is being a replica of 2001.” The government is “very interested to see what text might emerge from the Chair of the Working Group in the middle of March and very interested to see whether any improvements are made to the text when the working group reconvenes on 6 April.” (See full transcript.)

AFP is calling this a “threat to withdraw,” though it seems more like a restatement of previously known views. The opposition has called on the government to pull out now. There’s also some chatter in the (conservative-leaning) press about how this relates to Australia’s bid for a Security Council seat in 2013.

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