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John Key: Syrian President has got to go

Newstalk ZB staff ,
Publish Date
Monday, 26 September 2016, 11:01AM

John Key believes his words to the United Nations on the Syrian conflict came at the right time, despite the fact Aleppo has since suffered the heaviest bombardment of its five-year-old conflict.

WATCH ABOVE: John Key speaks with Larry Williams on the Mike Hosking Breakfast

Key said both the US and Russia want to find a solution - for different reasons.

SEE ALSO: USA rip into Russia at UN emergency meeting after Russian backed offensive of Syria

He said the US wants to maintain president Bashar al-Assad to prove they stood by their man, while Russian president Vladimir Putin wants to exert influence.

Key told Larry Williams there's no place for Assad.

"This is a guy who has used chemical weapons against his own people, against everything else. He's got to go.

"But maybe the main thing is Vladimir Putin's ego. He wants to say 'you want to get resolutions to issues, I'm your guy and come to Moscow.'"

However, Labour Leader Andrew Little last week said a solution without Assad's involvement is unrealistic

"I don't think it's going to be possible to achieve anything without him being at it or represented at it."

Key said a lot of people thought New Zealand was brave having Syria as the main item to discuss.

"They said it could have ended in tears, they could start yelling at each other, they could take the situation backwards, but you know there's another meeting tomorrow on the back of the meeting we had."

The Prime Minister said if peace is restored in Syria, the 13 million displaced people will pour back in to the country.

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