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Letter to Russian diplomat about ABC Australia bias in reporting on Syria and Russia

This is a letter written to the Second secretary at the Russian Embassy in Canberra, Alexander Odoevsky, subsequent to his interview on ABC Insiders, about the biased representation of the Syrian Government and related matters by Australia's ABC.

Dear Alexander Odevsky,

I recently contacted the embassy as the spokesperson for AMRIS – Australians for Reconciliation in Syria, which has been working for the last three years to try to spread correct information on the Syrian conflict and on the nature and intentions of Syria's allies, particularly Russia.

In June 2013 Mother Agnes Mariam visited Australia at the invitation of AMRIS ( for which she is ‘patron’ as we are linked to the reconciliation movement in Syria). During her visit she met with several government representatives, including Julie Bishop who was shadow FM at that time, and spoke to media including the ABC. She was interviewed by James Carleton at length, but the interview was not broadcast despite its importance and relevance for nearly two months. It was impossible [for me] not to conclude that Carleton’s personal friendships with members of the Australian Syrian community who supported the ‘Free Syrian Army’ didn’t play a role in this delay. Listening to Carleton this morning it is clear that he has learnt nothing about the true nature of the fight in Syria in two years, but rather had his prejudices confirmed by the weight of Western propaganda.

I have personally put the case to Carleton on the legitimacy of the Syrian government, before last year’s election, and I have also made a number of lengthy submissions to Julie Bishop both on this question and on the alleged Chemical Weapons attack on Ghouta. She has repeatedly denied the validity of my viewpoint – Syrians’ viewpoint – despite the weight of evidence I presented to support it.

Following the interview on the ABC’s Insiders programme last Sunday, I wrote an article for ‘Russia Insider’ which presents the situation; I hope you will appreciate reading it:

Australia FM Is Pushing Long-Refuted Syria Lies (6/10/15) | Russia Insider – also published on cabdobetter

My most recent letter to Julie Bishop, conveyed through my local MP Cathy McGowan, was a call for an enquiry into the presentation by both government and state media of the Syrian conflict, and particularly concerning the legitimacy of the Assad government. As Russia has repeatedly observed, the choice of who governs Syria is only for the Syrian people to make, and currently they overwhelmingly chose Bashar al Assad. It defies understanding that the Australian government continues to hold to its ridiculous stand on this – that the SNC somehow is Syrian’s legitimate representative – so we continue to try to make them see sense!

If there is any way I can be of further assistance please contact me,

with many thanks for your solid support for Syrians,

David Macilwain,

Sandy Creek, Victoria 3695

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Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Moscow this Friday October 29 [2015] for a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Both men signaled their closeness by using the informal mode of address to each other. "I am very happy to see you again, it's been a long time," the Russian president remarked to Nicolas Sarkozy, who replied, "Many things have happened and you know that I feel that the world needs Russia and that Russia and Europe are made to work together."


Nicolas Sarkozy criticizes the French government for maintaining complicated relations with Vladimir Poutine. The past president of the [French] Republic defends Russia's intervention in Syria and [French] Prime Minister Manuel Valls has reacted by asking Nicolas Sarkozy to be more circumspect, without actually naming him. "He should not throw our current engagements into question. We need unity. There is also an element of strength and credibiliity for France's presentation to the outside world." Even members of the Right side of politics [Sarkozy is a conservative] have criticised what they see as "parallel diplomacy".

Source: France 2 News: "Russie : Nicolas Sarkozy a rencontré Vladimir Poutine:" Includes video.

Nicolas Sarkozy s'est rendu à Moscou ce jeudi 29 octobre pour rencontrer Vladimir Poutine. Les hommes ont affiché ostensiblement leur proximité avec tutoiement réciproque. "Je suis très content de te retrouver, cela fait longtemps que l'on ne s'était pas revus", a lancé le président russe à Nicolas Sarkozy qui lui a répondu : "Beaucoup d'évènements se sont passés, et tu connais ma conviction que le monde a besoin de la Russie et que la Russie et l'Europe sont faites pour travailler ensemble".

Des critiques

Nicolas Sarkozy reproche au gouvernement français d'entretenir des relations compliquées avec Vladimir Poutine. L'ancien président de la République défend l'intervention russe en Syrie et a fait réagir le Premier ministre Manuel Valls qui sans le nommer demande plus de retenue à Nicolas Sarkozy : "Qu'il ne mette pas en cause ce qui est aujourd'hui engagé. Il faut de l'unité, c'est aussi un élément de force, de crédibilité, pour la France à l'extérieur". Même à droite plusieurs personnalités critiquent ce qu'elles jugent être "une diplomatie parallèle".