Australia condemns WikiLeaks Party talks with Syria's Assad
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has condemned as "reckless" and "counterproductive" a WikiLeaks Party delegation which met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
The delegation, which reportedly included WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's father John Shipton, met with Assad on Dec 23, according to a post on the Syrian president's Twitter feed.
The WikiLeaks Party, founded as part of Assange's failed campaign for election to Australia's parliament in September, is distinct from the whistleblowing group which has said it neither knew about or approved the meeting.
Ms Bishop said the delegation's actions risked involving Australia in the Syrian conflict which has killed more than 130,000 people since it began in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.