Doorstop interview - Parliament House, Canberra

  • Transcript, E&OE
25 November 2015

JOURNALIST [Inaudible question on downing of Russian plane]

JULIE BISHOP This is a very serious incident. We urge both sides to exercise restraint and that there not be any military retaliation. Clearly there must be an investigation as to what occurred. There are differing versions at present so we need a clear, precise analysis of the facts and that can only come through an investigation.

I have spoken with the Department. I have received briefings overnight from our posts overseas but at this point the facts are still unclear and we urge restraint while an investigation is carried out.

JOURNALIST What should Russia do Minister, at this stage?

JULIE BISHOP At this stage we should all be calling for an investigation as to how this occurred. It does underscore the complexity of the situation in Syria and Iraq. Australia, as part of the Coalition, has an agreement with Russia in relation to the use of air space. Russia and the Coalition, led by the United States, have such an agreement. I don't envisage there being a situation where Australian and Russian planes would find themselves in this situation.

JOURNALIST Have you spoken to any of your international counterparts on this particular matter?

JULIE BISHOP I've spoken to our people but not to other Foreign Ministers.

JOURNALIST Given that Turkey is part of NATO, do you anticipate that Australia will follow the lead of the US and back them in this situation?

JULIE BISHOP The investigation is yet to take place. The facts are not yet clear and Australia will of course await a detailed analysis of what occurred.

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