Federal Council, Melbourne - doorstop interview

  • Transcript, E&OE

JULIE BISHOP There have been three brutal and horrific attacks overnight in France, Tunisia and Kuwait. It has been reported that over 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured in these three attacks. The Australian Government condemns these attacks in the strongest possible terms. We stand in solidarity with the people of France, Tunisia and Kuwait, in the fight against terrorism.

The Australian Government is not aware of any direct connection between these three brutal attacks, however we are aware that Da'esh has claimed responsibility for the attack against a mosque in Kuwait.

We are not aware of any Australians involved in these incidents. Overnight I had a briefing from our Ambassador in Paris, who had been briefed by the Interior Ministry of the Government of France, and he provided me with some of the details of the attack in France.

If any Australians are concerned about the welfare of their relatives or friends they should seek to make contact with them. If they are unable to do so and they are concerned about their wellbeing they should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade consular hotline on 1300 555 135. In the meantime I can say that these three attacks are a terrible reminder of the heightened risk of terrorist attacks around the globe and the Australian Government will continue to do all we can to keep Australia and Australians safe from terrorist attacks.

JOURNALIST Have you spoken to any of your counterparts in those countries?

JULIE BISHOP No, at this stage I've not, given the time differences and given the challenges that they would currently be facing, but our embassies and our relevant overseas diplomats are making contact with the Governments. At an appropriate time I will make contact with my counterparts.

JOURNALIST Minister will there be any briefings from local security agencies and is the Government looking at stepping up our security arrangements here in Australia?

JULIE BISHOP These are matters that I will be discussing with the Prime Minister during the course of today.

JOURNALIST Do you anticipate the National Security Committee of Cabinet will meet over the weekend?

JULIE BISHOP No I don't anticipate that at this stage, but of course we are always ready to take advice from our security intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

JOURNALIST You said there is no sign that they were connected, does that seem to indicate that it is a coincidence that all three happened in close succession?

JULIE BISHOP: We don't have enough details at this stage. We know that Da'esh has claimed responsibility for the attack on the mosque in Kuwait, but there have been no reports yet of a connection between the attacks in France and Tunisia and Kuwait. All three are horrific, brutal attacks and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.

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