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Sky News Australian Agenda Bob Carr, Foreign Minister 2 September 2012

Interview with Bob Carr, Foreign Minister Australian Agenda program, 2 September 2012

Peter van Onselen: We're joined now by the Foreign Minister, Bob Carr. Mr Carr, thanks very much for your company

Bob Carr: Peter, pleasure to be here.

Peter van Onselen: Straight off the bat, Afghanistan. Why aren't we leaving early, what's the point in staying until 2014?

Bob Carr: Well there's a plan to get out. No-one wants to be there in this very difficult war, this unpopular war, a day longer than we need to be; there's agreement on that. The

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choice here is between a planned phased withdrawal and a sudden rush to get out that would be very disruptive to a coalition - the biggest coalition in history - 50 nations, not just the United States, but 50 nations all of whom have got a commitment to setting up a sovereign Afghanistan. It's seeing that we have got a functioning country here, and that's what that's about. A functioning country that won't allow its territory to be a base for terrorist strikes against the west.

Peter van Onselen: But what would be the major problem with getting out in say six months to coordinate organisationally the reasons for doing so? I mean, Greg Sheridan before the break made the point that that's effectively what he thinks we should do. 2014 is a long way away, it would only take six months to do it in a coordinated rather than disjointed fashion wouldn't it?

Bob Carr: Well the last two years the size of the Afghan security forces has been increased by another 100,000. It's a matter of training them, of seeing that they can lead operations, that they've got special forces who can do the jobs that the special forces of coalition countries are doing at the present time. That needs another year to 18 months to be given effect to Uruzgan province where we have got primary responsibility, and for the rest of the country to the end of 2014. We've been in there 10 years. Everyone is weary of this war but we've got a chance to leave a functioning Afghan state, a sovereign Afghan state that will say no to terrorists who would otherwise be in there doing what they did before 2001: using the country as an outdoor campus to train people, to blow up our subways, to hijack our aircraft, and to bring down towers in our big cities. That's literally what it was before 2001.

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Greg Sheridan: Mr Carr, once I believed all that too but there comes a point when reality has to intervene. Most of those 50 countries you mentioned don't do any fighting, don't suffer any casualties, don't leave the secure wire of their compounds. Uruzgan province is a very heavily Pashtuned province, it's next to Helmand which is chaos at the moment and where the American troops at full stretch can barely maintain order. When we leave Uruzgan, and the Americans are not be in t he south, there will be a new Pashtun interregnum in which the Pakistanis will have a critical say, the Taliban will be very powerful, and within a couple of years you won't notice that we were ever there. That's going to be the situation whether we leave tomorrow or whether we leave in 18 months. The only difference will be 10 Australians will probably be killed if we stay for 18 months. What on Earth is the point now when it's not going to have the slightest difference whether we leave tomorrow or in 18 months time?

Bob Carr: Greg, I and a lot of other people don't share your pessimism. Three-quarters of the country, 75% of Afghanistan, is now provided security by Afghan forces; that's a huge advance. You've got in recent times 5,000 mid-level fighters from the insurgency crossover lay down their weapons and be reintegrated with society. They too, the insurgence side as well as us, are weary of this war. You've had senior commanders be killed. The country, as admiral Stavridis has said, the leader of the coalition forces, is no longer a base for terrorist operations, terrorist strikes against us. It once was. We've got a chance. If we handle the transition well of leaving behind not a shadow country occupied in large part by people who are training terrorists to go into Bali, to come to big cities in the west and do harm, do optimal damage, not a coalition of terrorist

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groups but a reasonably functioning central government under some kind of constitution founded on a durable ethnic and regional balance.

Peter van Onselen: What needs to change between now and when we do depart in your view, which is the reason therefore presumably to stay and keep Australian soldiers out of harm's way.

Bob Carr: That's a fair question. Continued mentoring and training of the Afghan forces so that every month they're doing the patrols, they're responding with their special forces to security strikes, to strikes against us.

Peter van Onselen: So what are the benchmarks though?

Bob Carr: The military can spell that out for you but it means more patrols for example, more patrols being conducted with less and less Coalition involvement being conducted by the Afghans themselves. Another key performance indicator would be when there is a hit by insurgence that the response would be conducted not by members of the coalition forces like us but by Afghan police, special forces, or army. Now all those are laid down. The choice here, Greg, is between whether we have a panicky dash, Australia rupturing an alliance, an alliance that is the largest in history, 50 nations under a chapter 7 UN mandate that's been renewed every six months. Australia making a

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dash for it that would do our reputation enormous harm, enormous harm, disrupting that plan, that timetable...

Greg Sheridan: Has it damaged the reputation of all the other countries that have withdrawn? Has the Netherlands suffered shocking reputational damage for withdrawing?

Bob Carr: I think we're a bigger player punching above our weight than the world than - I say this with respect...

Greg Sheridan: We had fewer troops than the Netherlands in Afghanistan.

Bob Carr: We're the largest non-NATO contributor and we are a large contributor overall. Put it this way: when I was in Brussels at the conference with Stephen Smith on Afghanistan, what was it three months ago, and there was a report out of the Australian media that somehow we were bringing forward our withdrawal, I can tell you there were a lot of countries concerned that we seemed to be following what Holland had done. I not only had to sit down with - the US quickly apprised themselves of the position, Steven and I didn't have to exert ourselves there - but Germany was very concerned for example that somehow Australia might be saying we won't stick to the phased withdrawal, we'll

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go for a panicky, expedited withdrawal. Just to take a small example, say with the Slovacs who are providing security...

Paul Kelly: What about the United States? We're talking here about the consequences of us leaving early. What would be the reaction of the United States, what is the nature of the damage that would be done to Australia's reputation as you see it?

Bob Carr: I think it would be very significant but I don't want to give the impression that it's only a consideration of the US alliance that keeps us sticking to this program for a phased, orderly, controlled withdrawal to be completed in Uruzgan province, where we're involved, by 2013 to be completed overall by 2014. It is not just the US alliance. But I can assure you the US would be very critical of Australia which suddenly altered its character and said we're not with the other 50 nations, we're not with the plan that's been put into place and been discussed at Lisbon, at Chicago, at Tokyo, we're bolting. I don't think that honours the memory of these fine Australians, these extraordinarily brave Australians, and very professional fighter Australians who have paid the supreme sacrifice.

Paul Kelly: You seem to be suggesting that this is really about Australian character and Australian honour, is that your point?

Bob Carr:
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It is precisely. It is precisely. Here there is a serious commitment. We've signed on at international conferences, we said and we've contributed to the intellectual investment, the thought, the consideration that's gone into a planned, a staged a phased withdrawal and the training of Afghans that accompanies that. If we suddenly said because of these terrible losses and the inconsolable grief of the families that have sustained them, if we suddenly said we're out of there now I think there is a loss to Australia's reputation.

Greg Sheridan: Can I just unpick two things you've said. One you've said security is getting better. Noone who is in Afghanistan says that to you except the soldiers on professional briefings because they have to. The truth is it's getting a loss worse. And we have evidence of this from your own government. AusAID has said that when the Australian troops leave Uruzgan they're not going to base one aid worker there, so their confidence in the security situation is so great that they're not going to base one aid worker there.

Bob Carr: There's a different reason for that, Greg. That's a very cunning argument, Greg.

Greg Sheridan: Let me get to my question though. The second thing is you say the Afghan National Army can take more of the security. The truth is in the Pashtun areas the Afghan National Army is not made up predominantly of ethnic Pashtuns. They're seen by the ethnic Pashtuns as a foreign occupying force and there is no reason to suspect that they will be able to pacify a Pashtun population. The recruitment of southern Pashtuns

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into the Afghan army has been very, very meagre. Why do you think that Tajiks from the north will be able to subdue the Pashtun provinces of the south?

Bob Carr: Greg I said a moment ago what we want here is a sustainable, a resilient ethnic regional balance behind the constitution, behind the government. We want a sovereign Afghanistan. And yes I agree you need the appropriate ethnic balance behind that. I'm still confident we can get it. Admiral Stavridis said speaking only in the last few days that it's no longer a base for terrorist campaigns against the west as it was. September 11 was planned out out of Afghanistan; the people who claimed the lives through their bombs of 88 Australians they were trained in Afghanistan. Indonesia would be enormously more vulnerable if Afghanistan reverted to its former role as a vast outdoor campus for training terrorists to hit targets around the world. But, Greg, you've got a sense of Australia's role in the world, could you live comfortably with Australia suddenly bolting from this 50 member coalition and saying to the real concern of a country like Germany or Turkey, you're now embarrassed, you've got to justify to your own electorates why you're sticking with this task, but we Australians are out of it. It's not what Australia does, it's not what our country does. We've never done anything like this.

Peter van Onselen: But it sounds like pride built on a war that's going - Greg Sheridan's right - in the wrong direction and we're just there out of misplaced pride rather than any outcome that's going to be achieved by 2014.

Bob Carr:

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Peter, the wrong direction? The country's no longer a base for sustained professional terrorist strikes against western targets, we've now recruited another 100,000 Afghans for police and military functions in the last year or two. You've got 5,000 medium level fighters for the insurgency crossing over, laying down their arms. Proud warriors who've done that because they're war weary too. You've got signs of distress and war weariness in the insurgent ranks and you've got the chance after 10 years of blood and treasure being expended here of leaving the country with a functioning government and not just a shadow state that can be manipulated by terrorists. Now that is the choice. Again, I say to Andrew Wilkie or Mal Washer I understand your war weariness, but the choice is about a phased and professional withdrawal that according to a plan, Peter, that was developed by the military, the military developed this plan...

Peter van Onselen: Let me ask this then, this is a fair question. If over the course of the next 18 months or so as we work our way towards that phased withdrawal, if these benchmarks or if these improvements that you say are necessary for the state of Afghanistan to be more stable, don't occur is that a reason not to withdraw in 2014?

Bob Carr: No, no-one is accepting that. The United States has made it very clear, as we've done, there's no appetite on our side to stay there a day longer than we need to. The plan's there for transition, to those who are war weary, and that I think speaks for all of us that description, it's a choice between the phased and planned withdrawal or a mad dash. I just think in your words, Paul, it's not part of the Australian character to bolt from an alliance with a serious commitment.

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Paul Kelly: I'd like to switch the focus to China policy. In recent weeks we've seen a number of prominent figures criticise the Government's China policy, from Paul Keating to former ambassador Geoff Raby, academic Hugh White, former diplomat Dick Woolcott. You've spoken frankly about China in the past, what I'd like to ask you is what do you think the real response of China is to the decision to stage the 2,500 Marines through the Northern Territory and do you think that you've been able to offer a satisfactory explanation to China for this decision?

Bob Carr: I think the Chinese have absorbed that decision and looked beyond the level of attention we and the Americans gave it in November last year. I think seen objectively as the dust has settled around this announcement the Chinese have reached the position that it's really of little strategic concern. That what I've said to them is right, it's a natural expression of a long term alliance, an alliance - Australia and the US that's older than the Peoples Republic of China itself. I think they accept that. If you are to look at all the American military presence between us in Darwin and Beijing it pales into insignificance, it pales into insignificance. I think the Chinese might have been taken by surprise. They might have responded to a bit of interpretation, a bit of spin on the announcement about the Marines that emanated probably on the American side.

Peter van Onselen: What was that spin?

Bob Carr:
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I think it was seen as a response to Chinese military modernisation which gives us Australians no cause for concern. I say to Chinese interlocutors we don't argue against your right to modernise your military. We see that as the natural expression of what a great economic power does, it modernises its military in your case to protect your sea lanes of communication. But by the same token you, the Chinese, cannot express concern about Australia tending to its security by developing, by working on, by looking after, by nourishing our security relationship in the United States.

Paul Kelly: But surely the story is a much bigger one than this. Essentially the ANZUS treaty is being recast in terms of the rise of China and the Chinese would be highly cognisant of this reality. Are you suggesting that the Chinese are not concerned or are reconciled to that reality?

Bob Carr: I argue with your assumption there, Paul. We are not about containment. Containment is not a concept that we would...

Paul Kelly: I didn't talk about containment I said the ANZUS treaty is being recast to come to grips with the rise of China.

Bob Carr:

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That could carry implications of a containment strategy, which is not our thinking and not in fact that of the United States. Let me say in response to the whole argument about our appropriate stance in respect to the rise of China and our relationship, our longstanding security relationship with the United States: this is not the only narrative in the Asia-Pacific. The rise of Indonesia and of course the rise of India, but also the development of ASEAN theyre also narratives in this region. It would be - and that says nothing of South Korea, nothing of Japan - it would be wrong to continue to talk about the region and some of this debate implies we should do so as a binary choice, a stark alternative - the US or China. I also think it is appropriate to say, and I know it's a bit of a cliche, Australia doesn't have to choose. We're not going to be forced to choose. The metrics of our relationship with China are very good. The trade, the investment flows, all the rest are very good, very robust. We've got military exchanges with China at a reasonably high level. We want more of a strategic engagement with China if they're ready for it, if they're comfortable about it, some architecture for a more regular consultation about strategic and economic cooperation.

Greg Sheridan: What would that be, a one and a half track dialogue or something?

Bob Carr: It could be, but we want to discuss it with them and we're relaxed about the timing of it. And at the same time our treaty relationship with the US is just so basic to Australians it can be regarded as part of our DNA.

Peter van Onselen:

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In relation to the South Pacific do you think China is trying to increase its influence in the region?

Bob Carr: Yes, but I don't think that unreasonable. I think if you see the economic rise of China, an increased diplomatic footprint and an increased aid budget goes with it. There's nothing we can do about it anyway.

Peter van Onselen: But they try to make that look binary. One of the Chinese vice ministers attended the recent South Pacific forum. Let's just take a look what he had to say.

Minister: We are here in this region not to seek any particular influence, still less dominance. We are here to work with the island countries to achieve sustainable development.

Peter van Onselen: Your point I suppose is that they can do both.

Bob Carr: They can do both. We want to work with them on aid. We want them to sign the Cairns Compact. We would like to cooperate on aid projects, there hasn't been any of that to date; some attempts at it. But I think what will happen with Chinese aid, and that

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really is the bulk of their presence in the Pacific, is that as they develop their aid profile will more and more come to resemble that of OECD countries. So it will be less investment in symbolic projects, prestigious projects, and more attention to the sort of things we do like training midwifes to bring down the maternal mortality rate in the Pacific.

Greg Sheridan: Less corruption perhaps.

Bob Carr: What do you mean?

Greg Sheridan: Less corruption in their aid, the way it's handed out to South Pacific politicians and so on.

Bob Carr: I wouldn't have used that expression but I just think the Chinese - I understand the Chinese are looking at the way their aid works and too often it's characterised as a Chinese port, a Chinese road leading to a Chinese mine that's been built with Chinese labour, and you've some criticism of that in Africa. I think the Chinese being very smart and being very self-critical will develop aid programs that as I said resemble those of OECD countries and that would be a good thing. It being Chinese, we are likely to see that change happen, when it comes, happen overnight.

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Peter van Onselen: Hold that thought. We are speaking to the Foreign Minister. We're going to take a commercial break. When we come back we're going to move on to the issue of boats. There's been change to asylum seeker policies, the boats do keep coming. We'll seek the minister's views on why. Back in a moment.

Welcome back, you're watching Australian Agenda where we're joined by the Foreign Minister Bob Carr. In a moment I want to get to boats and talk to you about that.

Paul Kelly: I'd like though first Mr Carr to ask you another question about China. What's your response to former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating whose criticised of the Labor Government basically saying that it's too close to the United States and that it's not sufficiently astute in the management of China. What's your response to Mr Keating?

Bob Carr: Paul said that launching the Hugh White thesis.

Paul Kelly: That's right.

Bob Carr:

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And my view of the Hugh White thesis is a little like Paul's, it is a changing bit of futurology that invites Australians to think about a future where in Hugh White's words there may not be a western or an allied military presence to our north and where we'd have to accommodate China on security grounds. I think that's something Australians have got to think about, something Australians have got to bear in mind. But I just caution people about making the assumption on US decline and on remorseless Chinese rise. The continued rise of China at the rate China's been on the rise since Deng Xioping's revolution, set in train in 1979, is going to rest on decisions that the Communist Party leadership will have to make, decisions that respond to the challenge of Chinese demography, the need for a new economic model. And you can't assume that China can as convincingly beat the challenges it now faces as its beaten the challenges of the last 40 years. And you can't assume American decline. I have teased some of my American friends by saying you guys are just one budget deal away from banishing talk of American decline.

Paul Kelly: I'd like to ask you about Chinese investment. The Australian business community is very concerned about apprehension within the political system and when it comes to public opinion about resistance to Chinese investment. Does this government accept the reality that there will have to be very significant and unprecedented new levels of Chinese investment in this country?

Bob Carr: Chinese investment is happening, but it's happening very slowly. If you look at foreign direct investment...

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Paul Kelly: I'm talking about the longer term.

Bob Carr: Just look at where we're starting from though, Paul. At the present time 27% of foreign direct investment in Australia is from the US, 1%, 1% is from China.

Paul Kelly: So there's not much of a problem?

Bob Carr: I think there will be a very manageable increase in Chinese investment. But you see that's what your big customers tend to do. The Japanese signed up to buy Australian commodities as they underwent their post war revolution and decades into this process they decided they'd like to own the occasional mine. And that was a good deal for Australia because it meant that Japan kept buying its resources from us not from someone else, and China can continue to underpin a great deal of Australian prosperity by buying from us, but on the way through they'll want to do a bit more of what they're already doing, owning an iron ore mine, owning a uranium mine. They're doing this already and it's a good deal for Australians.

Paul Kelly: So the Government accepts the need for more Chinese equity?

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Bob Carr: I think we accept the situation that our biggest customer will from time to time see it appropriate to own a bit of an Australian business, and that will be a good deal, it will keep them buying from us. But just remember this: there was a lot of concern in the early 1970s, the mid 1970s - this is a good example to take - about what was seen as a ruthless American mining company Utah, Utah company, owning the coal resources of Queensland's Bowen Basin. A lot of concern. 'Four Corners' documentary, they were ripping it off, they were tearing it out, they were leaving devastated countryside and they were making all the profits. It ended up being owned by BHP. So these things come and go, and they come and go in trends.

Greg Sheridan: Mr Carr, Can I ask you one more question about the US-China relationship. I don't want you to be unduly polite here for goodness sake, there are some binary choices in analysis. Hugh White argues that the Americans are acting to constrain and provoke China, to hem it in, they're not giving it space. They're not allowing it to be itself and therefore they're causing tension in the region which is going to be terrible for us. The Americans say we've been treating China as a major power for 40 years and we've done enormous things to accommodate China. Now, we can't smooth over this with a molient kind of ambiguity or accommodation.

Bob Carr: Am I accused to do just that, Greg?

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Greg Sheridan: Which of those analysis is right?

Bob Carr: Look I think from an American perspective the Americans have recognised - and Americans have said that they want China to play a bigger part in the world. The Americans are on record saying that, President Obama has said that. And Americans have cooperated with Chinese aspirations on Taiwan for example, they have cooperated with that.

Greg Sheridan: Indeed.

Bob Carr: Even under the Bush Administration Americans retrained separatist tendencies in Taiwan. I think America is sincere in saying it is not about containment in China.

Greg Sheridan: You would say in fact America has accommodated the rise of China.

Bob Carr:

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Yeah, but I think the Chinese need to be listened to as well. When they say, they say they've got a legitimate interest in defending their coast and defending their sea lanes of communication. From a Chinese perspective some of the things that get said in America, especially in election campaigns, would give rise to concern. Although the Chinese, I've got to say, are pretty astute and often they say, often they say well these things are said during a US presidential election campaign.

Peter van Onselen: We've had about a thousand people come by boat since the announcement of the change of policy, how many more have to come and how long will it take before we get to a point where the Government will say that this new expert panel is either working or not working?

Bob Carr: Well, Peter, let me remind you of what happened when Prime Minister Howard opened Nauru. In the six weeks after he made that announcement there were 1,500 additional irregular maritime arrivals.

Peter van Onselen: But then they stopped.

Bob Carr: Well, the people coming here now are people who've paid their $500 or their $1,000 to people smugglers. Now I can say to you we've had an expert panel and the expert

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panel's recommended a course of action, the Government's accepted all 20 or so of its recommendations and you've got to have this component of offshore processing backed by the other regional initiatives.

Peter van Onselen: But you've raised John Howard's policy and you're right for that six week period there were a large number of arrivals but then it just fell off a cliff, it stopped. Is that the benchmark this time?

Bob Carr: We've got to see. There's no certainty in this, this is not a science. But we are sending a message to people who are cynically running businesses that recruit people. There are 40 million displaced people in the world, there are 1.5 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan being told, I understand, they've got to return to Afghanistan. There are maybe half a million internally displaced people in Afghanistan. If Australia were to say you can sign up with a people smuggler, put your money down, you can come into Australian territorial waters and you'll be processed in Australia we would very soon have all our migrant intake occupied by the people brought here by people smugglers 180,000 people a year. It's possible to see that happening. It's a pretty pessimistic vision but it could happen. That would mean us not taking people from camps who are waiting for processing to get to Australia, it would mean no other source of migrants to this country. So of all the sort of half satisfactory solutions the one recommended by the expert panel is the least bad solution.

Paul Kelly:

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But if we look at where we are now it's quite clear that people smugglers are challenging the will and policies of the Australian Government. What can Australia do to prevail in this fight, a lot of which is about psychology.

Bob Carr: I think that's an accurate assessment which is why I mount a vigorous defence of offshore processing. And I say to those Australians who are refugee advocates, or motivated by an understandable compassion on this subject, it's not being humanitarian to live with the situation where more people are crowded into unseaworthy boats and put on the high seas, and that's what happens if you have access to Australia unimpeded by offshore processing. I think we've got to add the Malaysian arrangement to what we've done with Manus Island and Nauru.

Paul Kelly: How long will that take?

Bob Carr: I'd urge Tony Abbott to relinquish his opposition to it. If we've got the Malaysian arrangement - and it's perfect satisfactory solution, and it's been recommended for further work by the expert panel - as well as Manus, as well as Nauru, then we're beginning to construct the defences here.

Greg Sheridan:

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I think that's dead right minister and one of the interesting things this weekend was that people who were picked up were returned to Indonesia as they're supposed to be within the Indonesian search and rescue area. You've made a big priority of relations with Indonesia, you've made strong representations this week about human rights abuses in West Papua, but does that compromise at all your commitment to Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua?

Bob Carr: Absolutely not. One of the reasons I've encouraged our embassy to go on making representations about human rights in Papua, is so I can continue to carry, we can continue to carry Australian public opinion in support of Indonesian sovereignty over the two Papuan provinces. It is the position in international law. It is the position that Australian governments, Labor and Coalition, have taken. It's embodied in the Lombok treaty. I just ask Australians who might be tempted, Australians in church groups or trade unions, who might be tempted by the allure of a separatist movement in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia to remember that the cost of engaging in a serious level in that sort of activity would be a complete rupture in Australian-Indonesian relations. It would serve no good whatsoever because the nation they'd be seeking to create would not be viable and were it to be created, and that is inconceivable, Australia would be picking up the bill. So our opposition to Papuan cessationism is founded on pragmatism and principle. The position in international law is Indonesian sovereignty and while we make representations as required about human rights issues there, because that's what Australia does, we are unequivocal. I heard on the ABC radio this morning as I was preparing to come here a report that gave a sympathetic view by implication of West Papuan separatism and I just urge Australians to steer away from that.

Paul Kelly:

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In your talks with the Indonesians have they raised this as a matter of concern?

Bob Carr: I don't think it is a big matter of concern but we've moved quickly over the subject, it's been on our agenda. No, they haven't initiated it, I've volunteered it.

Paul Kelly: But you're obviously concerned about it from what you've just said.

Bob Carr: Very moderately concerned because I don't think it's taking off, but for people who want an explanation of why we from time to time raise human rights in West Papua, it's so we can continue to say with credibility to Australians that this is Indonesian sovereignty, we recognise it, it's the position in international law and it's the position that accommodates Australian self interest in this region.

Peter van Onselen: Bob Carr, we are right out of time. But just one final question on your blog you once described Mitt Romney as bloodless. What did you mean by that?

Bob Carr: I've forgotten what I meant by that Peter, because I had such a good encounter with him in San Francisco.

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Peter van Onselen: Despite the blog.

Bob Carr: Despite the blog. And I left him with this impression. I said, Governor, I just want to tell you this, you have no firmer friend than Australia. The United States hasn't a firmer friend and ally than Australia and should you be elected President call on us whenever you need support and advice but we don't want anything from you. We've got no agenda with you, just think of us as a friend and as an ally. And a friend of mine in the US who is a prominent Republican donor told me that he was able to recall this, that Governor Romney recalled that encounter, so I'm very happy that we've got lines of communication with both camps, very good lines of communication. Kim Beazley was at the Republican convention talking foreign policy with the people around Governor Romney and he'll be at the Democratic convention doing the same with the Democrats.

Peter van Onselen: Bob Carr, Foreign Minister, we appreciate your time. You've been very generous with it. Thank you for joining us on Australian Agenda.

Bob Carr: My pleasure Peter, thank you.

Peter van Onselen:


Australian Agenda 2 September 2012 Bob Carr

And as always, Greg Sheridan and Paul Kelly thanks for your company as well. Thank you for your company, we'll be back at the same time next week. See you then.

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