AFR Business Summit - Sydney, New South Wales - 12/03/2024

12 March 2024



Subjects: ASEAN Australia Summit; Relationship with China; US alliance; AUKUS agreement; Israel-Hamas conflict; Gaza humanitarian crisis; Australia’s diplomatic role.

JAMES CURRAN: Well, Minister, congratulations on the milestone that James just mentioned. And thank you very much for being here. We really appreciate your time.

PENNY WONG, FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, thank you, I actually wouldn’t have known to be honest, because we don’t count the days, right? But Amanda Vanstone actually wrote an article telling – saying that she was about to get passed as the longest-serving woman as a Cabinet Minister, so I texted her to thank her for the fact she brought it to my attention.

CURRAN: Very kind of her. Very kind of her. Can we begin with last week’s ASEAN summit?


CURRAN: Since you’ve become Foreign Minister you’ve talked so much about Australia meeting the region where it is. Last week the region came to Australia – very important symbolism – all the ASEAN leaders were there. And in many ways, I guess a capstone to so much of your effort since you’ve taken the job about ASEAN centrality, listening, not lecturing. You’ve also spoken I think very powerfully in your position about the need to project Australia’s full identity to the region, and you talked about the fact that there have been older narratives circulating through the region that position Australia as “the other”. Could I ask you in the light of last week: what’s the progress, if you like, on regional perceptions of Australia? And to what extent do you think, in the eyes of some, Australia is still on trial?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I thought it was a really important summit. As you said, you know, we had – it’s an important summit for the milestone in March, which is 50 years since we became the very first dialogue partner of ASEAN. One of the really great, impressive decisions by Gough Whitlam, recognising the importance of ASEAN to Australia, to our security, our economic security and our strategic security.

It was really very important, and we really appreciated the fact that every leader attended, obviously with the exception of Myanmar. And I think that said something. It said something about the Prime Minister’s relationship with his counterparts and Australia’s standing in the region. And so that was a good thing.

The point you raise about bringing the full gamut of Australian identity to our engagement with the region, and I suppose in part I bring that perspective because of my own background from Malaysia, but it has always intrigued me the extent to which we failed to utilise that diversity diplomatically. So we’re an extraordinarily diverse country – one of two of us born overseas or has a parent born overseas. We have Australians with heritages and with families from all through South East Asia, and I wanted to bring more of that into our discussion of who we are and our engagement.

That’s obviously not the only aspect, but if you think about what are the ways in which you try to ensure you – you know, there’s this great phrase in diplomacy, ‘we want to deepen and broaden the relationship,’ right? So you’ve actually got to think beyond the words and what are the things that do that. And obviously, the economic engagement is one of those, and, you know, we’ll probably discuss that. But I did think that engagement about who we are at a cultural level and the diversity of who Australia is, the full breadth of Australian society is an important part. I think it’s been noticed.

CURRAN: You think it’s been noticed?


CURRAN: You don’t get too much of the older narrative thrown back at you from the previous Government – I presume that’s what you I talking about?

FOREIGN MINISTER: I actually was referring to the historical narrative actually.

CURRAN: Right.

FOREIGN MINISTER: The speech you’re referring to, I think, I was making the point about who we have been, which is an important part of our history. But where we were as a largely sort of British former colony is not the whole truth of who we are now.


FOREIGN MINISTER: And we should talk about that.

CURRAN: Agreed. You gave a speech to open the summit. Paul Keating said you were rattling the China can. What’s your response to Mr Keating’s critique of the speech?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I think I said on television he’s entitled to his view. I don’t share it. But I don’t lose any sleep.

CURRAN: Okay. I wanted to talk a bit more about China, if we could. Yesterday at this summit the Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, talked again about his vision for the relationship going beyond stabilisation which, of course, has been I think the achievement of the Albanese government to stabilise the relationship. Some of the tariffs have been released – not all of them – Cheng Lei has been mercifully released, Yang Hengjun, of course, got that disastrous decision. Now, it’s very clear they are talking about, as I said, these stages beyond stabilisation. Now, is that the endpoint for Australia, or can Australian diplomacy improve on it?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Can I start by why I used the term stabilisation, which I did in Opposition. I used that term because I wanted – you know, so much of language is symbiotic, isn’t it – I want to be really clear with Australians in so far as I could be on foreign policy that we weren’t going back to where we were. So, the notion of reset or normalisation sort of implies that we’re going back to something, whereas it always seemed to me that China has by its own words, by the words of its leader President Xi, it’s changed of its articulation of what it is and who it is in the world and in the region. And so, we needed to reflect that in how we dealt with the relationship. We needed to bring maturity to it. We needed to – I described it as stabilise. You know, I was very clear about my view that some of the language under the previous government was not helpful and was primarily for domestic political purposes.

And you have to look at the relationship with China, firstly, bilaterally and also regionally, but in terms of the bilateral, China is not going anywhere. China is not going to stop being China. So, we are always going to have things where we disagree, and hence you’ve heard us say, we agree, we cooperate where we can, disagree where we must and engage in our national interest. And I think the central task for leaders and governments and business leaders is to navigate the differences wisely rather than either pretend that there is no navigation required because we can just disengage – which is not in any country’s interest – or the other extreme is to suggest that we don’t actually have differences to navigate. We do.

CURRAN: Can I just push you a bit further on that, is there a risk that the term stabilisation becomes somewhat limited? And what’s the aspiration for the next step in the relationship? What are the conditions required for it?

FOREIGN MINISTER: I tend to talk about navigating our differences wisely. Now, you’re a journalist, so – and a writer, so you can probably come up with a pithier way of describing it. But the point I’m making is we should not assume – Australia fundamentally is not going to change. You know, we are who we are. We have our interests as we see them. We have – you know, there might be some contests about how we articulate them or how we might – the detail of them, but we have our interests, we have our values. China is not going to stop being China, and China remains, you know, one of the great powers in our region. So, you know, we have to work out how it is we navigate those differences, and I think there’s a bilateral element, which is about navigating wisely, dealing with differences appropriately, standing up for, you know, our interests, dealing with China as we should. There’s also a regional perspective, which is what sort of region do we want and who do we work with to ensure we have a region that has the attributes or characteristics that serve our interests.

CURRAN: I’ll certainly come to the region in a second. But in order to get there I think it’s pretty clear from the government’s public statements, from your speeches, certainly from the speeches by the Minister for Defence that the government is unified in terms of its central strategic judgement about the region and we’re facing the worst circumstances since the Second World War, or the most deteriorating circumstances –

FOREIGN MINISTER: I think the phrase I used is the most challenging set of strategic circumstances since World War II.

CURRAN: So that’s been endorsed in the Strategic Defence Review, it was completed when the Defence Minister released the Surface Fleet Review about a fortnight ago. Is that still how you see things as Foreign Minister?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Look, I – if we can get out of the sort of day-to-day and, you know, the interview for the moment and just try to think about this in terms of where we are in the sweep of history, the reason I used that phrase in opposition – and we keep referencing it to now – is if you think about – and I hate to say this to a historian because you’re probably going to tell me I’m wrong – but if you think about the end of World War II and the establishment of, you know, a multilateral architecture and a regional architecture and the primacy of the United States et cetera, that period between then and now, whilst there have been conflicts and disruptions, I think we haven’t seen the shift in the kind of big architecture, the big strategic dynamics that we have seen in these last few years prior. And so that does mean you have to think as a country, especially as a middle power like Australia, in this region, you have to think very carefully and deliberately about what it means for Australian foreign policy, what it means for Australia’s strategic settings and make the best judgments about how to respond. And that’s what we’ve been doing, whether it’s the DSR or the Surface Fleet Review or the work I’ve been doing on the foreign policy side. And, you know, that is about what sort of region we want.


FOREIGN MINISTER: You and I have spoken about previously strategic equilibrium or strategic balance and a region where no country dominates, and no country is held back.

CURRAN: You’ve taken the words out of my mouth. What does that ultimately mean for the region? A region where no one country dominates? How important is it for Australia that no one country dominates? And are we to infer from this that you don’t want any primacy?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, there were a few leaps there, aren’t there? Mischievous. But, okay. I think as a middle power we do best in a world where disputes are resolved by reference to law and norms, not by reference to power alone. I think as a middle power we do best in a world economically where there is a degree of predictability to trade and international commerce, where there is not capricious or, you know, actions which are not to be predicted. I think we do best in a region where norms and international law remain the primary ways in which disputes are resolved and behaviour is managed.

Now, I’m not naïve. There is no – you know, norms are norms. So you and I, you know, there are norms about how we behave, and then you might say something quite difficult to me or vice versa. But there is still an expectation. And the point I have made and I made in a speech you referenced at the ASEAN summit is we’ve all got a role in that.

Now, you asked about US primacy. What I said at the National Press Club last year is I talked about the indispensable power point – sorry, it sounds like a PowerPoint. I talked about America as the indispensable power and I said, you know, America, the US, remains indispensable. It is indispensable to balance in our region. The thing that we need to recognise is that the nature of that indispensability has changed.

CURRAN: Right. So in other words – let me just put it this way –

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, you can put it your way, James.

CURRAN: I’ll probably be –

FOREIGN MINISTER: You have a tell – he grins before he says something mischievous.

CURRAN: Julia Gillard.


CURRAN: Standing before the American Congress in 2011.

FOREIGN MINISTER: Okay. I didn’t expect you to start there. But okay.

CURRAN: She said that she’d grown up with an America that can do anything. How much do you think things have changed now for the United States and what does that mean for American primacy in the region and what does it mean for our relationship with the United States?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Yeah, I’m not – there’s a sort of what I regard as a bunch of non-sequiturs in that. I think that culturally one of the things that has marked America out has been its capacity to innovate, its capacity to change, its capacity to take on tasks, you know, that seem so ambitious to so many countries and often achieve it. So that’s a – that is one of the cultural strengths of the United States. But you’re asking a different question, aren’t you? You’re asking a question about what is America’s role in the world.

CURRAN: Well, that’s right.


CURRAN: Especially at this time.

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, we’re not – we’re in a different place to where we were at the end of the Cold War. I don’t think anybody denies that.

CURRAN: No, no.

FOREIGN MINISTER: So, the question is, how do we deal with that? And I think we deal with that not by thinking only – by thinking in terms of who is – who are people choosing but thinking about the type – what sort of world we want to live in and what sort of multilateral system, what sort of regional system. You know, I wrote once in one of the speeches, you know, we’re a US ally, so in that sense, we’ve already chosen. And that’s not going to change. But that’s not the end of the matter. That’s not the end of the matter. We have so many other things we have to do to try and assure Australia’s interests at a time which is more uncertain. And whether it’s ASEAN or the Quad or AUKUS – which I know you’re such a fan of – these are all about that. How you assure Australia’s interests in the world where there is a greater degree of unpredictability.

CURRAN: So would it be fair to say, though, that – you’ll disagree with this – but, you know, is there some tension at times between, I guess, the language that you use about Australia’s place in the region and you talk a lot about AUKUS and the Quad reassuring South East Asia. You talk about those issues – AUKUS and the Quad are basically points to underline the search for a strategic balance or equilibrium alongside the language of ASEAN’s centrality. But on the other hand, the Defence Minister – and I don’t expect you to speak for the Defence Minister, but, nevertheless, there’s what I think something of a tension here – he talks about impactful projection. Now, admittedly he hasn’t used that term for a little while, but he was pretty gung-ho on it the first six to nine months in office. Impactful projection in my translation is forward defence by another name. Now, that’s – you know, if AUKUS is about anything, it is about projecting power with the United States further –

FOREIGN MINISTER: What is motivation for everything we do? Our motivation is always stability.

CURRAN: All right.

FOREIGN MINISTER: Our motivation is always peace. And I think every – you know, whatever we are doing, whether it’s AUKUS or the Surface Fleet Review or the work that I do, you know, we are seeking stability in our region. You know, that is the way I think Australia should approach and we should work with partners to achieve that. I mean, I think - how do you achieve stability? How do you achieve it – we started, we were talking about a region where no country dominates and no country is dominated. I mean, part of that is wanting to ensure that no country ever makes the calculation that the risks of conflict or the benefits of conflict outweigh the risks. So I see partly it’s central to the stability we are working towards you need both deterrence and assurance. And both foreign policy and defence operate in a world of deterrence and assurance in their different ways.

CURRAN: But what would you then say to the critique which says, “Okay, we’ve done a lot of reassurance. We’ve made a lot of big announcements about deterrence.” For example, tomorrow is the first anniversary since the Prime Minister stood with Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden in San Francisco to announce the optimal pathway and the AUKUS nuclear submarines. Isn’t there a slight sort of time warp, if you like? The strategic circumstances are deteriorating so rapidly, but the deterrent capability is not coming for a very long time?

FOREIGN MINISTER: And it should have been – well, I don’t want to – I always feel like I’ll get into trouble to be too partisan at these sorts of events and people don’t like it, but I think we have had a pretty sorry history over the last nine years of defence acquisition. I mean, I follow – I’m from South Australia so I’ve followed the submarines debate very closely. This is our third plan. Remember, there was going to be the Japanese, then it was going to be the French. So, we lost too much time under previous governments, and there was three Prime Ministers. But one of the important things that the optimal pathway, which was announced, is obviously it means the capability gap which was potentially there is not there.

CURRAN: So, I mean, there is a growing critique of AUKUS. Now, fair enough, it’s probably inhabiting just a small group in the sort of foreign policy commentariat for what it’s worth, but I’m thinking of, you know, the points that Hugh White has made about, you know, the lifetime extension to the Collins is going to take years. The Virginia submarines may never be delivered because they’re simply not producing enough in the United States. What is plan B in terms of our deterrent capability?

FOREIGN MINISTER: On this, we have to make plan A work. And I know Hugh takes this to a different set of questions around nuclear capability. I think it’s – we need the submarine capability and we need to do all the other things we are also doing. You shouldn’t have your – I mean, your strategic stability isn’t one capability.

CURRAN: No, that’s true. But, I mean, what’s your view, then, of the strategic meaning of AUKUS? It presumably is about, as you said before, the fact that we’ve chosen –

FOREIGN MINISTER: No, I think AUKUS is about – no, I think that’s, dare I say it to James Curran, I think that’s a very simplistic way to look at it. I think – I see the range of things we are doing, including AUKUS, as all being about trying to assure stability for Australia and for the region. And having the capability that the submarines provide – which, remember, are replacing an existing capability is a path – but it’s not the only path.

CURRAN: Now, what about the whole question of sovereignty? Again, your colleague Richard Marles believes that as long as they have an Australian flag put up near the periscope they’re ours. But Kurt Campbell is on the public record as saying even if we give the submarines to Australia, they’re not lost to us.

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I think - hang on, I don’t think you should – I think Kurt also said a lot about working with our – I mean, working with allies and partners for stability and for the rules-based order which is, you know, one of America’s strengths is its alliance. Richard did a very important statement to the parliament about the sovereignty framework early last year I think it was.

CURRAN: I remember it.

FOREIGN MINISTER: Yeah. And he made the point in that, you know, this is a capability which would be owned, maintained, regulated and operated and under Australian command. So, I think the sovereignty point is I think very clearly dealt with in the framework he put to the parliament.

CURRAN: But then you’ve got, again, Kurt Campbell saying basically we’ve got Australia on defence for the next 40 years. “We’ve locked them in.” I mean, is that helpful to policy makers in Canberra?

FOREIGN MINISTER: We – again, as I said to you, I think we are a US ally. But as I also said, that doesn’t make it – that’s not the end of the matter.

CURRAN: Right.

FOREIGN MINISTER: We need to continue to operate and engage with the region.

CURRAN: So, in other words, we’re not locked into US grand strategy in Asia? Not necessarily?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Every government will make its own decisions about every decision that is asked of it by anybody.

CURRAN: Again, to come back to Richard Marles, he keeps talking about Australia not being a passive bystander in the case of a conflict over –

FOREIGN MINISTER: Maybe you should have him here.

CURRAN: No, no, that’s all right. I’m just talking –

FOREIGN MINISTER: He wouldn’t talk about me.

CURRAN: I do think there are some interesting –

FOREIGN MINISTER: I think, in fact, to be – well, I don’t want to speak for Richard, but when I hear him – when I heard him say passive bystander, I think he was making the point exactly what I have said – you know, we have to play our part. We do live in a region which has got – we know, ASEAN economic growth will be so important to Australia’s prosperity, where we know what, you know, north Asian economies – China, Japan, Korea – how important they are. We understand the level of competition and change in the region. We have to be part of that. We have to be part of ensuring stability, and that is both deterrence and assurance. It’s working with ASEAN, as I said last week. Ensuring that we as a group try and ensure we have the architecture, diplomatic and military, to prevent escalation, to avert conflict. Every country has agency, and this is real. I try to emphasise that in every forum I go to because I think to think of this only as being a passive bystander and watching great powers have – you know, engage in competition is very risky for us. We all have agency. We should exercise that.

CURRAN: Now, a lot of this is going to be thrown into the strategic blender if Donald Trump –


CURRAN: – wins office later this year. The Japanese government, as I understand it, has been publicly reporting about Japanese diplomats fanning out across Washington, talking to the people who may well be close to Trump if he forms an administration. Their concern is that Trump may do some grand deal, grand bargain, with China which would leave them and Taiwan and other US Asian allies a little bit in the lurch. Australia would probably be doing a lot of thinking about this. I don’t expect you to offer a running commentary on US domestic politics –


CURRAN: But how confident –

FOREIGN MINISTER: There’s always a “but” after that.

CURRAN: But how confident are you – how confident are you – about the Albanese government’s capacity to have a meaningful relationship with Trump? And I just add there, this government has not really talked that language of the previous government about 100 years of mateship or putting Trump on a boat in New York and giving him an education about the diggers. So there’s obviously a different approach, I suspect, that’s, you know, in the making. I come back to the question: how do you feel about that kind of – you can’t talk about Trump – but that kind of trend coming back as of this November?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I think you’ve asked me the question and you’ve already conceded I’m not going to answer, which is to engage in some commentary about US domestic politics. I would simply say, you know, we’ve had – we have a longstanding relationship, an alliance which has weathered many decades and has, seen administrations on both sides change.

CURRAN: All right.

FOREIGN MINISTER: Almost, but not quite.

CURRAN: The Middle East. Can I just ask you first, are we developing an Australian-Canadian New Zealand policy on Gaza, and why are we doing that?

FOREIGN MINISTER: I have worked quite hard to engage with the Canadians and the New Zealanders because, you know, we are not – we are similar in our position when it comes to the Middle East. We are countries that are Five Eyes members, we’re countries that have historically been supportive of – certainly supportive of the existence of the State of Israel. We have recognised the challenges Israel faces. However, at the same time, we are countries that also look to international humanitarian law and that has been so important. And it is important that countries with that relationship with both Israel but also with our place in the multilateral system make clear our views. And I think it’s been very important that – to have the two leader-level statements and the vote together at the General Assembly. So we voted for the humanitarian ceasefire in December – I think it was December – and then there have been I think two leader-level statements.

CURRAN: All right.

FOREIGN MINISTER: And so we also have had dialogue with the New Zealanders, and there was a statement issued by the Defence and Foreign Ministers of both countries, including in relation to the ICJ – the International Court of Justice. So, you know, these are,– you know, this is multilateralism, middle power diplomacy in action. So it’s not determinative, but I think it’s important because we have a particular place in the international community and we have a lot of shared views about these issues.

CURRAN: If a critic said that you were looking for cover, what would be your response to that?

FOREIGN MINISTER: I think we’re looking at a terrible situation in Gaza. We had a – you know, October the 7th was a horrific terrorist attack and the greatest loss of life in any single day, loss of Jewish life in any single day since the Holocaust. We have now a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and we have many Australians, for whatever your politics, whatever your views, are horrified at the loss of civilian life. So, do I think that us working with others amplifies our voice? Yes, I do. And I don’t think sort of cynically dismissing this as cover is the right way to look at it. We are trying to amplify the things that we care about, and we’re really pleased that Canada and New Zealand have been so willing to work with us on this. I think they share the same concerns.

CURRAN: Going back to your earlier comments about the importance of multiculturalism to Australian identity and our standing in the region, are you concerned about the rising level of anti-Semitism?


CURRAN: And Islamophobia?


CURRAN: In terms of pulling at the fabric of what holds the country together?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Yes, I am. And I think, you know, there are people who claim to represent the cause of justice and freedom who are behaving – and tolerance who are behaving here in Australia in ways which are contrary to that, which are not consistent with that. And I think that you know, we have a pluralist democracy where we have differences of views, but we have tried to express those differences with respect and with some regard for each other’s common humanity. And I think some of the rhetoric and some of the anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that I have seen has really not been in keeping with who we are or who we should aspire to be.

CURRAN: Just one more question before I go to a question from the audience that’s popped up on the screen. Netanyahu, Biden’s recent comments about Netanyahu hurting more than helping the situation, have you got a comment on that?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I think his assessment is right. President Biden’s assessment is right. And I think if you look at, you know, the – as I said, October 7th was, you know, a terrorist attack and the world was rightly very sympathetic to and consolidative with Israel at that time. I think the world is horrified at the current situation, the loss of innocent civilian life and the scale of the humanitarian crisis. And what I would say, I think unless, you know, Israel changes support, it will continue to lose – sorry, unless Israel changes its course, it will continue to lose support. Which I think is what President Biden was referring to in those comments.

CURRAN: There’s a question here, Minister, from Charles Street: how much of your time do you spend thinking about security in our region, in particular, cyber security in China, and what concerns you most?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Cyber security is one of the things that, it feels like government is still trying to work to grapple with the scale of the challenge. And though many in this room would be much more able to identify that and fervently discuss that than I. We – but it is – obviously since we’ve come to government, where we found our cyber resilience was not where you’d want it to be. We know how much more work needs to be done. I think there’s a lot of work being done by Clare O’Neil, also Tim Watts, who works with me, the Assistant Foreign Minister. You all know that we had – we’ve been prepared to attribute where we think appropriate. But we know there’s a lot of more work to be done in terms of resilience. Yes, it is something that I am worried about. And whilst I’m not the sort of key minister, I think it’s something we – don’t think there’s any kind of diminution of it as a risk to national security.

CURRAN: So a final question – What concerns you the most?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Whether it’s cyber security or the Second Thomas Shoal, what concerns me most is, you know, those areas of international engagement where rules and norms are either not observed or are not sufficiently robust. And I suppose that’s a little bit of a lawyer’s answer, but it again comes back to what I said – we have to ameliorate – we have to find a way of ensuring that disputes are not resolved by power alone.

CURRAN: This is what you mean by preventive architecture?


CURRAN: And what form would that take?

FOREIGN MINISTER: That’s an interesting question because in part it is – you can say very simply, and when I first talked about this, I was saying can the militaries of both China and the US please talk to each other because it would be nice to make sure we didn’t end up in an escalated conflict because we don’t have the capacity to engage. But I think there is more that can be done in terms of the expectations, for example, that the region might put on the countries who are involved in conflict or contest in the South China Sea.

CURRAN: Just a final question, Minister, if I might – you’ve been in the job nearly two years now as Foreign Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER: That’s gone quickly.

CURRAN: It has. Now, this is a topic that I used to discuss with Allan Gyngell, who I know is very close to you – Australia’s foreign policy tradition. Now, as Foreign Minister, how would you define it? Allan used to talk about the fact that this country didn’t celebrate enough – and I don’t think he meant that in a kind of doing cartwheels kind of way – but didn’t talk enough –

FOREIGN MINISTER: Intellectually we didn’t celebrate enough, yeah.

CURRAN: Yeah, and about the kinds of achievements, if you like, of a middle power like Australia – APEC, the Cambodian peace process, the East Timor intervention in ’99, whatever arguments we might have about that. But what to you, if you had to sort of define Australia’s foreign policy tradition, the Australian way of doing diplomacy, how would you? What would you say? How would you put that into words?

FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, we should aspire to be – and what I try to be – is a creative middle power that works with others, you know, for stability, peace, prosperity, better outcomes for the region, for the world and to assure our interests. We should be a creative middle power and work with others. And I think, I use the phrase sometimes, we take the world as it is, but we seek to shape it for the better.

CURRAN: Okay. I’ve got a lot more questions.

FOREIGN MINISTER: I know you have.

CURRAN: But we’re out –

FOREIGN MINISTER: It’s kind of like a long-haul interview in front of a whole bunch of friends, isn’t it really?

CURRAN: We could go on for hours, but we’re out of time, and lunch awaits. But can I just thank you again, Minister, for your time. Please thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs.


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