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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) You are watching ABC News

Breakfast and Haiti is again

Federal Government has our top story this morning. The

announced Australia will double

its emergency aid to the

devastated country. $10

million in immediate funds will

now go to the recovery effort

with another 5 million

pledgeded for longer term reconstruction. For more on

Australia's role in the

disaster relief, Foreign

Minister Stephen Smith joins us

now from Canberra. Good morning. Thanks for joining

us. Pleasure. At this stage

we don't have any peace-keepers

or personnel on the ground in

Haiti in that regard. Are you

considering in the future we

might actually supply some kind

of personnel? Not

peace-keepers, either military,

Defence or police. We currently

have about 20 countries from

the region who supply a

military contribution to the UN

peace-keeping mission there and

about 40 countries who supply

police. We welcome and support

the Security Council's

unanimous resolution last night

to supplement that

peace-keeping force but we

anticipate that will come from

countries in the region,

particularly the United States

and Brazil and countries in

Latin America and the

Caribbean, countries already contributing. What I've made

clear is we're currently in

discussions with the United

Nations about whether we have

any individuals of particular technical expertise who might

Communications, for example, be of assistance at the moment.

continue to be very difficult

so we may have communications

or engineering or logistics

experts who may be able to

assist. Some of those

individuals may well be in our

military or Defence services

but if they go it won't be as

part of the UN peace-keeping

contribution. As you noted

yesterday, we've signed a

memorandum of understanding

with the Caribbean organisation

that then has to deal with

situations affecting those countries, in particular dealing with disaster management and emergency

relief. Is it possible then,

given we've signed that memorandum of understanding,

that we might be supplying more

money in aid to Haiti some time

soon? The fact we've enhanced

our engagement with the Caribbean and in November last

year we signed that memorandum

of understanding with the

regional organisation

representing the countries of

the Caribbean including Haiti,

is one of the reasons why we

have given what historically is

a substantially higher

contribution to a disaster

contribution to a disaster in

the Caribbean than previously.

There are a number of factors

why we've done that, one is the

scale, the human tragedy is

just so great. We wanted to

give a generous contribution

and the Australian people would have expected that of the

Government, as they're doing it

themselves with their individual contribution but

with our enhanced engagement with that organisation,

particularly the fact the

memorandum of understanding refers to

refers to disaster relief

management and coordination or

cooperation with the Caribbean

disaster emergency management

agency, that's one of the

reasons why our contribution is

greater than historically but

also one of the reasons why

we'll be sitting down not just

with the UN assessment teams

but also with the Caribbean

disaster emergency management

authority for consideration

about what more, if anything,

we can do for the long-term

reconstruction. We doubled yesterday our immediate

emergency contribution but

we'll leave for obviously

further and later consideration, literally when

the dust settles, about whether

there's more we can do for

long-term reconstruction

because that will obviously be, as your correspondent made

clear, a very significant

long-term challenge for not

just Haiti and the Caribbean

but for it international community. Indeed and not to quibble with the amount

quibble with the amount of

money Australia has pledged, as

you say it's significant, but

when you look at the situation

in Haiti and also when you take

into consideration that that

was a rather lawless and

desperate country to begin with

before the earthquake actrally

struck then when you talk about

long-term reconstruction,

there's the danger you could

have to commit yourself to

enormous sums of money and

great numbers of personnel in

order to bring about stability

in a country that wasn't

terribly stable to begin with.

That point's right because you

had - before the Security

Council resolution overnight

you had about 10 thousand

military and police there as

part of a peace-keeping mission

which had been there for half a

dozen years or so but I think

there is is, given the images

devastation, we've seen, the terrible

devastation, the human tragedy

both general and individual, I

think there is a very clear

willingness on the part of the international community to

pitch xin try and help. That's

certainly reflected in the

conversations I've had with my counterparts, with Hillary

Clinton last week when he

sadvised she couldn't come to

Australia because she had to

return to Washington to help

coordinate the United States'

response but also when I spoke

to my Brazilian counterpart

over the weekend - Brazil of

course being the current lead

nation so far as the

peace-keeping forces are

concerned - so that willingness

is there but it will require a long-term commitment and effective organisation which is

always a problem in the

immediate aftermath but will continue to be a challenge to

make sure we get the

coordination right. Turning to

other stories and it's

other stories and it's been

alarming to read that new

United Nations report which

says corruption produces almost

as much money in Afghanistan as

the country's illegal drug

trade, indeed that the figure

there which is $2.5 billion

paid in bribes by local

Afghanis in the last 12 months,

that almost matches the amount

of money generated by the

illegal drug trade. We still have personnel there and have

have personnel there and have

hopes for that country but

that's a desperate situation of

how corrupt that country is,

isn't it? Narcot ics and

corruption are two of the key

issues both before that Afghan

election and after I said that

whoever emerged as the new

Afghan Government, these were

two issues - corruption and

narcotics - where the Afghan

Government had to make much

more substantial progress than

it had in the past. The Karzai

Government has reemerged and it

settling in to office. We've

got an international conference of Foreign Ministers in London

next week and one of the things

that the purpose or the

objective of that conference is

is to essentially have a

compact between Afghanistan and

the international community to

make progress on these fronts.

Afghanistan won't be won in the

sense of staring down terrorists and stopping

Afghanistan being a hotbed of -

or breeding ground for

terrorists, won't be won by

military contribution alone. It

requires political, economic, social contributions as well

and making progress on

corruption, making progress on

Governments, making progress on

narcotics is a very important

part of that and we've made

that point clear directly to

Afghanistan but also to our

international partners on the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. And we've heard

those comments again and again

but it's getting harder and

harder, I should imagine, for

the general community to have

any faith in that insistence by

the allied countries there in

Afghanistan but not only does

the situation not change

according to reports such as

this UN one, it gets worse.

I've made it crystal clear

directly to my Afghan

counterpart, who will finish up

as Foreign Minister and become

President Karzai's

international adviser - I made

the point to him when I met him

in New York at the general

assembly last year - that

unless the international

community sees progress on

corruption and narcotics then

the political will of the

international community to

assist will abate, will be

adversary affected. You mean

the international commune will simply withdraw from Afghanistan, it will walk

away? Well, we have a

long-term commitment to staring down international terrorism

dollar but the point I made to

the Foreign Minister was unless

the international community,

including Australia, sees

progress on these fronts, there

will be a dampening of the

political will in the

international community to

render assistance and that's

why not only do we need to see

progress on insecurity 41, we

need to see progress on these

issues but also progress on political approach and the recognition of essential

services to the Afghan people -

education, health,

infrastructure and the like, so

a civilian capacity-building

contribution from the international community is also

important which is one of the

things that Australia is

contemplating in the run-up to

the London conference. Stephen Smith, the time is against us

and there's a number of issues

I want to quickly race through

if I can. Has the skirmishes

between the anti-whaling

protesters and Japanese whaling

ships compromised a potential

military deal and Defence deal

that Australia wants to strike

with Japan? No absolutely not.

In fact I was very pleased

yesterday to see officials from

the Japanese ministry of

Defence making the point I've

made in the past which is

Australia and Japan have a

disagreement over whaling but

neither Australia nor Japan

will let it get in the way of

what is a comprehensive economic and strategic

partnership. That partnership

is sound in your view?

Absolutely. Yes, we have robust

exchanges on a disagreement

over whaling. We continue to be

of the view that we can address

that diplomatically, both

bilaterally with jufan and

through the International

Whaling Commission, but neither

Australia nor Japan will allow

that disagreement to get in the

way of a long-term,

long-standing, very important

relationship Australia has in

our region with Japan. our region with Japan. We're

just hearing news this morning

in addition to the Jetstar

executives being held in gm.tv,

about two Australian bankers

now being held in Papua New

Guinea, Robin Fleming and John

Madison. What do you know of

that situation? What can you

tell the Australian public?

I'm not in a position to give

any information on the PNG

matter. That's emerged

overnight and I'm seeking

advice and don't want to pre-empt any comments there. pre-empt any comments there. So

far as the two Jetstar

executives in Vietnam are

concerned, I met with the

Vietnamese ambassador to

Australia late last week, made

the point we were keenly

interested in their situation.

It's been made clear to me by

the ambassador that those two

executives are not the focus of

the investigation, the focus is

elsewhere but Vietnamese authorities want them to stay to insist in their inquiries and the and the investigation. I've

made it clear we would want

that investigation to be

expeditious to allow those two Australians to return to

Australia sooner rather than

later and literally as we speak

Qantas executives are in

Vietnam having further

conversations with Vietnamese

authorities about those two Australians. Stephen Smith,

good to talk to you. Thanks for