Australia Group expresses concern over Syria

The Australia Group concluded its annual Plenary on Thursday and expressed concern over recent evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Australia Group is a voluntary group of countries seeking to counter the spread of technologies and materials that may help the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons by states and terrorists.

The Syrian civil war has raged for over two years and escalated in the past year. The war has had a profound, negative impact on the civilians and soldiers in Syria.

Over 80,000 people have died in the conflict and millions are without homes. Many Syrian refugees are seeking refuge in neighboring countries, adding tension to the already unstable region.

Recent rumors of chemical weapon use has made the world community uneasy. The Syrian government has so far declined using weapons and has declined requests by the U.N. to allow investigations into the matter.

The Australia Group initially expressed concern over the developments in Syria this past January. At its latest meeting, the group reaffirmed its stance over the chemical weapons and expressed concern over Syria's destabilizing impact on the Middle East.

The Australia Group Plenary went on to urge all parties in the Syrian conflict to refrain from chemical weapon use and for the need for all countries to exercise increased vigilance in the Syrian matter.