3AW Breakfast, Interview with Ross Stevenson and John Burns
JOURNALIST: Foreign Minister, we thank you foryour time and I guess you never know what's going to happen when you answer thephone?
JULIE BISHOP: Good morning Ross and John. No, this isa shocking incident in Great Britain today, in London, and I am here inWashington DC at a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the campaign againstISIS, and the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was here at the meeting. Ofcourse, when he took the call about the incident in London, so you never knowwhen these events are going to occur and it's a very tragic incident and ourthoughts and condolences are with the British people and the BritishGovernment.
JOURNALIST: Minister, is this being treated as aconfirmed terrorist attack or just a lone wolf individual?
JULIE BISHOP: My understanding is that the Britishauthorities are treating it as a terrorist incident unless the investigationshows otherwise. It has all the hallmarks of one of the ISIS-inspired attacksbut it's too early to say with absolute certainty what was the motive behind itor why this occurred.
JOURNALIST: I was reading during the week, I thinkprobably in the New York Times, about the imminent demise of ISIS I think inMosul, I may well have got that –
JULIE BISHOP: That'sright.
JOURNALIST: I may well have got that wrong. Doyou see a world in which in the near term ISIS is defeated?
JULIE BISHOP: Well that's what we're doing here inWashington, to ensure that the objectives of the Coalition are achieved andthat is to defeat ISIS and to take back the territory that it claimed in Iraqand Syria, but also to prevent it from inspiring terrorist attacks elsewhere inthe world, that is countering this narrative, this ideology, its presence onsocial media, to prevent people being seduced into supporting it and carryingout the sort of attacks that we saw in London this morning. So the 68 countriesthat are represented at this Coalition meeting are determined to defeat ISIS.There are 22 countries that are amongst the most significant contributors, andAustralia is also in that group because we have about 1000 military personnelin theatre carrying out air strikes over Syria and involved in training andsupporting and advising the Iraqi security forces so that they can retakeMosul, the city of Mosul, and that's what's happening now. So you would've nodoubt read about the attempts to retake Mosul. They're making progress in thatregard, but this is a very long fight against terrorism, this could take years.
JOURNALIST: Great to see. Time for one last question.I know that the job of a terrorist is to terrorise and this sort of attack inLondon does terrorise, but in terms of a strategy, running over two people andstabbing a police officer in London is hardly a winning strategy, is it?
JULIE BISHOP: It is meant to unsettle people, tostrike fear into their hearts, prevent them going about their daily business.London is a free and open city, many people from all around the world workthere, visit there, and so it's designed to scare people into not continuingtheir usual business, their daily lives. It won't work because Britain is aresolute country, determined people. They have faced some terrible events overthe history of that country, that city and it will just make them more resoluteand more determined. But it means that we must do all we can in Australia toprovide our law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies with theresources they need and the laws they need to keep Australians as safe aspossible.
JOURNALIST: Good on you and we're very gratefulfor your time. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, currently in Washington DC.