Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Hill leaves for the trip focusing on regional security



Download PDFDownload PDF

M E D IA RELEASE

SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

M t THE SENATE

5~

Thursday, January 10 Brisbane 03/91

HTT.T. T.BA.VES FOR TRIP FOOTS ING ON REGIONAL· SECURITY

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today leaves for a trip through South Asia on his way to London, where he will deliver a speech on Asia-Pacific security.

Senator Hill will visit Bangladesh for talks with political leaders in the lead-up to that country's elections.

"There have been clear indications from Bangladesh that it would welcome Australia playing an observing role in the election," Senator Hill said.

"Australia's involvement would provide a unique opportunity to promote democracy in the South Asia region."

Senator Hill said he would visit India for talks in the wake of Australia's controversial sale of Mirage jets to Pakistan.

"These sales to Pakistan at the time of tensions in Kashmir damaged Australia's relations with India," Senator Hill said.

"The initial problems created by the sale were compounded by the Foreign Minister, Senator Evans', needless confrontation with the former Indian High Commissioner, Mr Bhutani, over the delivery date of the aircraft.

"The Hawke Government's inept handling of this incident created tension between Australia and India, which is an important regional power and trading partner."

After India, Senator Hill will visit Pakistan, where he expects to meet key political figures.

"Pakistan could be excused for feeling somewhat confused about its relationship with Australia as a result of the Mirage

incident," Senator Hill said.

Senator Hill's two-week trip will culminate in London when he delivers a paper on Asia-Pacific security in the post-Cold War period to the International Democratic Union (IDU).

.. . / 2

C O M M O N W EA LTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MiCAH

2 .

The I DU is an international body which supports the development of democracy, and its members include political parties from the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan. The Liberal Party of Australia is also a member.

"As a result of the improving relations between the superpowers, security arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region will inevitably change and become more complex," Senator Hill said.

"There is clearly a need for greater co-operation and cohesion between countries in the region and greater efforts to encourage democracy.

"Australia needs to improve its relations with countries in the region by bringing more stability and certainty to its regional bilateral relations."

(ends)

Enquiries: Senator Hill's office on (06) 277 3170