NZ not asked to endorse Russia statement

  • 04/10/2015
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong)
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong)

New Zealand wasn't asked to endorse a statement calling on Russia to halt airstrikes on Syrian rebels but it would probably do so if asked, Prime Minister John Key says.

Key members of the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition have called on Russia to halt airstrikes on coalition-backed rebels and focus on the Islamic State.

"We express our deep concern with regard to the Russian military build-up in Syria and especially the attacks by the Russian Air Force on Hama, Homs and Idlib since yesterday which led to civilian casualties and did not target Daesh," France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK and US said in a joint statement on Friday (local time).

Mr Key says the statement was made by seven of 60 countries and New Zealand wasn't asked "to be a part of that".

"There's no cables in our system asking us to join into that, but at some point they might," he said in an interview screened on Q&A today.

"And we most probably would align ourselves with that because it's consistent with our view," he said.

NZN