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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) 7 or 8 cyclones which is a

significant and hectic time for the

the Fiji Met Of. Australians

traveling to Bangkok have been

advised to exercise a high

degree of caution as Thai

security forces prepare for

another wave of anti-government protests. Abhisit Vejjajiva

has rejected calls from

demonstrators to resign and

call elections. For more the Foreign Affairs Minister joins

us now from Canberra. Good

morning. Good morning. As a nation that nation that treasures

democracy, is Australia calling

on the unelected Abhisit

Vejjajiva to step down and call

elections? We're simply calling

upon Thailand and the Thai

people to resolve these matters

peacefully and peaceably.

Regrettably in the past we have

seen in Thailand instances of

military intervention. We

welcome very much the fact that

that road hasn't been gone down

for a number of years but we

want to see these matters

resolved peacefully in

accordance with Thailand's

democratic and parliamentary

process and traditions. Do you

regard Abhisit Vejjajiva as a

legitimate leader of that

country? He has the support of

his Parliament. Just as other

Prime Ministers have the

support of their Parliament.

Obviously we deal with them .

We were disappointed that as a

result of domestic matters we

wasn't able to take his visit wasn't able to take his visit to Australia but we look

forward to welcome ing him in

the future but we certainly

want to see these matters

resolved peacefully. We've seen

in Thailand in the last big

protests, either in support of

the former Prime Minister or

large numbers of supporters in

support of Abhisit Vejjajiva. We want

We want these matters resolved

peacefully. In the meantime we

are advising Australians to a

void the demonstrations and

avoid large gatherings of

people, to be careful about how

they move past government

buildings and to exercise a

high degree of caution. Just

turning to another issue this morning, is it likely asylum

seekers will soon to v to be

processed on the mainland

because Christmas Island will

reach capacity? Well, in the

event these are matters for my

colleague the Minister for

Immigration, Senator Evans. He

has made it clear in the past if Christmas Island gets to its

capacity, it has a capacity of

about 2,000, there are currently improvements being

made which will see that

capacity go to 2,300, 2,400,

Senator Evans has made it clear

if that capacity is met then he if that capacity is met then he is looking at processing

offshore arrivals at the

facility in Darwin. But rather

than responding to rumour or

speculation or suggestions of

boat arrivals we should just

allow Senator Evans to deal

with the facts as they

emerge. It will be an

embarrassment for the

government if it gets to that stage. Government officials have previously described

Christmas Island as a white

elephant? That's to not been the description the government

has been using while in has been using while in office.

And particularly in the face of

large flows of displaced people

not just in our region but

around the world. We've made it

clear that we will continue to

see boat arrival, we'll

continue to see large numbers of people moving throughout our

region. That's why we're

working very hard with

countries in the region through

the bal hee process to combat this very this very difficult problem. The situation between the US

and Israel is deteriorating

significantly. Do you agree the

Israeli announcement was

destructive to the peace

process? I said at the time a

few days ago I thought it was a

bad decision at the wrong time.

And it was not a helpful

contribution to the peace

process. I think that view has

been echoed been echoed throughout the

world. Certainly we saw the

Secretary of State Hillary

Clinton make very strong

remarks along those lines. Us

a's view for some time has been

that a freeze on settlements would make a contribution to

the peace process. We want to

see the peace process and talks

resumed and we want to see a

long-term enduring peace in the

Middle East. Should Binyamin Middle East. Should Binyamin Netanyahu reverse that decision

now? Well, Australian policy

for some time has been for a

freeze on settlements and as I

said at the time, the most

recent decision, we regard as a

bad decision. The timing was

particularly unfortunate coming

as it did in the midst of

Vice-President Biden's visit

and it wasn't a helpful contribution to the peace contribution to the peace process. You're announcing

today this $11 million aid

package to Somalia the VRC and

Kenya. How do you ensure that

food aid actually gets to the

right people? We've been

enhancing our engagement with

Africa. Today I'm meeting with

the deputy chairman of the

African Union and also the

Deputy Foreign Minister, announcing a announcing a humanitarian

assistance package of $11

million for food aid and also

to help displaced people. We

pride ourselves as going a good

international citizen, making these humanitarian

contributions where we can. We

do that through the

international NGOs and

international institutions.

When any contribution is made

of humanitarian or development assistance there's always a risk not all of that risk not all of that is

delivered but we put in place

international standards for

monitoring, for auditing and

for accounting but our attitude

is we are a well-developed

prosperous country. We can lend

a helping hand in terrible and difficult circumstances. And

whilst our engagement with

Africa is very important

strategically and economically

we also know there are

difficult parts of Africa who

need the assistance of the international community and Australia

Australia is playing its part