Triple M Hot Breakfast, Melbourne - interview with Eddie Maguire, Luke Darcy and Mick Molloy

  • Transcript, E&OE

EDDIEMAGUIREJoining us now is the Foreign MinisterJulie Bishop.

Good morningJulie.

JULIEBISHOPGood morning Eddie. Good morning team.

EDDIEMAGUIREThanksfor joining us this morning on Triple M's Hot Breakfast. Julie obviously thebig story is what is going on in Syria. What is the latest position of theAustralian Government?

JULIEBISHOPThis is an international crisis ofmassive proportions beyond the capacity of any one country or region to respondbut Australia will do its part. Our Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is inParis. He is going on to Geneva meeting with the United Nations HighCommissioner for Refugees. He has got more meetings today with theInternational Organisation of Migration. There are a number of optionsavailable to us including the permanent resettlement of people fleeing Syria.

We arefocussing particularly on the families, women and children of persecutedminorities. There are ethnic and religious minorities that are persecuted inthese countries and we are looking at taking people from the camps. There are anumber of camps along the Syrian border, in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, but thereare also options of providing temporary safe haven to people who will want toreturn to their homes once the conflict has ceased. So we are looking at arange of options including increasing our humanitarian support. Already we'veprovided about $156 million in relation to the Syria crisis and we areconsidering what more we can do.

LUKEDARCYJulie, horrific the images are ofpeople fleeing and the devastation and trauma, you just can't imagine, andcongratulations for getting on the front foot with this. Have you got an ideaof how many people are displaced in Syria at the moment and how many still tocome?

JULIEBISHOPThere are literally millions of peoplewho are displaced in the region. Not just Syria, but take into account Iraq aswell because this conflict is one theatre of war in fact. The Assad regime hasbeen attacking civilians within Syria. The terrorist organisations are drivingpeople away. They are carrying out brutal, violent attacks on civilians. Theultimate solution of course is to defeat the terrorist organisations that aredriving people away and to come up with a political solution with the Assad regimeso that we can return some kind of peace and stability to the region.Butthe figures are in the millions, there are about 1.2 million Syrians living inLebanon alone so it is a massive problem and we are part of what would be partof the national response.

EDDIEMAGUIREJulie can you justquickly paint a picture for us of the ordeal that these people are goingthrough and why they are fleeing Syria?

JULIEBISHOPSyria is ruled by a Shia Muslimminority, the Alowites, in a country of a Sunni majority so there is conflictand tension there already but there are also ethnic minorities -theAssyrians, the Kurds, there are religious minorities – Christians, Jews, theMaronites and there is a civil war going on between the Shia and Sunni tribesbut then there is also these terrorist organisations, ISIL or Da'esh, al NusraFront, the Khorasan Group and they are fighting anyone who doesn't believe intheir perverted ideology. So the conflict is many layered. It's all diabolical.

Of course inIraq it is a Shia majority ruling over a Sunni minority so it is the oppositeand there is conflict there. There are also minorities in Iraq who claimpersecution, the Christians, the Mandeans, the Yazidis. You will remember theYazidis were up on that mountain some time ago and were being starved of foodand water so the situation is absolutely diabolical.

We will bepart of an international solution that will involve European countries,countries in the Middle East and I hope countries in the Persian Gulf, foreveryone can do more and I believe Australia will certainly play its part.

EDDIEMAGUIREGood on you Julie,good luck with everything you are doing there. It is such a horrible situationyou find yourself in but do your best for Australia as you always do. Lastquestion from Mick Molloy.

MICKMOLLOYJust a quick one Julie, I can't letyou go without asking you for a tip re West Coast/Hawthorn this weekend. How doyou see it falling?

JULIEBISHOPEagles by 30 points.

LUKEDARCYFairly succinct from the ForeignMinister there.

JULIEBISHOPWell I watched them last weekendagainst St Kilda and they were in magnificent form. Nic Naitanui has had astellar year. Our forward line is very impressive so I'm looking forward to abig win against the Hawks and then we have a rest week and then a final back inPerth.

MICKMOLLOYAlright, got it all worked out.

LUKEDARCYI understand Julie flies in Friday,Grand Final eve, and just ready for the West Coast Eagles should they getthrough.

JULIEBISHOPFingers crossed.


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