Press Gallery, Parliament House Doorstop Interview

  • Transcript, E&OE


JOURNALIST: Would you be comfortable if Indonesian journalists listened to your conversations with Marty Natalegawa?

JULIE BISHOP: Well if they did they would hear very positive conversations between Dr Natalegawa and me. We have a good rapport and this recent incident has demonstrated the strong rapport between President SBY and Prime Minister Abbott. They do appear to be good friends, they have very positive conversations and I guess this incident has just proven that. But I'm pleased that the Prime Minister is able to visit Indonesia on his way to Europe. The last occasion that the President invited him to Indonesia he wasn't able to go because it was the week before our first Budget and the President invited him to return as soon as possible and this is the first opportunity. But in the meantime our relationship with Indonesia has continued to be strong and I am constantly in contact with my counterpart Dr Natalegawa. We're arranging our next 2 + 2 meeting, that is the meeting of the Foreign Minister and Defence Minister of Australia and Indonesia. My Parliamentary Secretary Brett Mason has recently been in Indonesia discussing with Indonesia the New Colombo Plan. Indonesia has taken a number of Australian students on exchange to their universities and that program is proceeding exceedingly well.

JOURNALIST: And the code of conduct, is that ready?

JULIE BISHOP: That's a matter for discussion between Dr Natalegawa and me, and we've got a couple of drafts. I'm expecting that we'll discuss that at our meeting for the 2 + 2.

JOURNALIST: With that not locked in, how much can be achieved at this meeting with the Prime Minister and the President?

JULIE BISHOP: The Prime Minister and the President will have many issues to discuss and the matter of the joint understanding is something that Dr Natalegawa and I are dealing with.


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