Doorstop interview

  • Transcript, E&OE

JULIE BISHOP: On the third day of UNGA Leaders' Week I have had the opportunity to attend Michael Bloomberg's Global Business Forum and meet with CEOs and others who are committed to enhancing economic prosperity and global growth. I have met with Ivanka Trump and discussed with her opportunities for us to partner on matters involving the empowerment of women and girls. I have had bilateral meetings including with the new Executive Director of the World Food Program, when we discussed the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State in Myanmar and Australia's commitment to provide support for the humanitarian crisis. I have met with the Foreign Minister of Mexico and passed on to him our deepest condolences on the earthquake and offered to assist in any way we can if Mexico requires technical assistance or other support. I have also had the opportunity to speak overnight again with President Trump, Ambassador Haley, and Secretary of State Tillerson about the current circumstances facing the Korean Peninsula and North Korea's continued violation of numerous UN Security Council Resolutions, and I will continue to meet with other nations who are also committed to countering terrorism. I attended a forum that was convened this morning where we exchanged ideas on how to continue our fight to defeat terrorism wherever it occurs around the world.

JOURNALIST: Minister the Iranian President has described Donald Trump's speech as "hateful and ignorant". What do you think about what Mr Trump said about Iran in his speech?

JULIE BISHOP: The President certainly highlighted his concern that Iran was continuing to support terrorists. He was concerned that the nuclear agreement, called the JCPOA was not being adhered to, and he was very critical of Iran so I'm not surprised by the response.

JOURNALIST: And Minister the President also said that he's made a decision on whether or not he will stick with that deal. What would you like to see happen there?

JULIE BISHOP: Australia supported the JCPOA, or the P5+1, and we certainly saw it as the only viable option at the time. I'll wait to hear the details of what the United States intends to do in relation to it, but we are of course committed to ensuring Iran takes responsibility as a significant power in the Middle East, for peace and stability and security and that it not add in anyway way to the instability in the region.

JOURNALIST: And Minister are you aware of any Australians being caught up in the earthquake in Mexico?

JULIE BISHOP: I've not been provided with any such information but, of course, our Embassy in Mexico will be making all relevant enquiries of the authorities. Our condolences are with the people of Mexico at this very sad and tragic time and as I said, I've offered to provide support should Mexico require it. I will be meeting with the Mexican Foreign Minister again on Friday as part of our MIKTA meeting, that is the grouping of Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia and at that time I will get an update from him as to the consequences of this terrible natural disaster.

JOURNALIST: You said you spoke to Ivanka Trump about the empowerment of women, could you talk a bit more about that, and what other topics did you touch on?

JULIE BISHOP: Yesterday I attended a number of events in relation to the campaign to end forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery, and I met Ivanka Trump at that meeting. We decided to meet again today to see where there are opportunities for Australia to partner with Ivanka Trump and her Foundation, to hopefully bring some of the programs to our part of the world. Australia's aid program focuses very much on the empowerment of women and girls, they make up half the population, they are an invaluable resource to drive economic growth. And yet, there are many barriers in the way. Ivanka Trump is also very keen to work with us on promoting female entrepreneurship, and I hope that we will be able to undertake a number of initiatives with her in that regard.

JOURNALIST: How did you find Ivanka Trump? Did you have a good rapport with her?

JULIE BISHOP: She's charming, delightful, a very intelligent and committed young woman. I am very pleased to get to know her and to be part of opportunities that her Foundation and the United States Administration more generally may have in working with Australia on these issues of ending modern slavery and forced labour and human trafficking, but also more positive areas like promoting female entrepreneurship.

JOURNALIST: Tonight you're discussing terrorism. Do you think tech giants need to do more to stop the spread of Jihadis online?

JULIE BISHOP: We certainly welcome the involvement of tech companies in this forum to discuss the use of the internet. We obviously embrace an open and free internet that has been used in so many positive ways, but we can't allow terrorists to hide their hateful ideologies and activities on the internet. So it is necessary for us all to work together, tech companies, nations, those committed to defeating terrorism and I look forward to hearing some practical ideas and ways that the tech companies can assist in the fight against terrorism.

JOURNALIST: The President, when he met with Mr Abbas today, was quite upbeat about the prospect of having an actual Middle East peace deal at some point. Do you think he is just dreaming?

JULIE BISHOP: Well we all want to see peace in the Middle East and we all want to see an enduring peace that is negotiated between the people of Israel and the people of the Palestinian Territories. Australia supports a two state solution. We have long supported that. We think it can only come about through a negotiated process between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It can't be imposed from outside, but most certainly the United States can, as it has in the past, be a facilitator or mediator to assist in such a process. But we remain committed to a two state solution, where the people of Israel and the people of the Palestinian Territories can live behind internationally recognised borders in peace and prosperity.

Media enquiries