Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop visits Nauru
The Australian Minister for Foreign
Affairs Julie Bishop made her first trip to Nauru today (18
December) as government minister.
Ms Bishop and her delegation
arrived this morning (18 Dec) on board a Royal Australian Air Force
flight from the Solomon Islands before flying on to Vanuatu.
The delegation was met at the
airport by Nauru's Secretary for Foreign Affairs & Trade, the
Australian High Commissioner Bruce Cowled and members of the
Australian High Commission.
The protocol welcome at the
government office shortly after arrival included the playing of
national anthems of Australia and Nauru and an inspection of the
all-female police honour guard.
A closed door meeting with Cabinet
and government caucus was later held in the Cabinet room with
discussions centring on ongoing support in the health and education
sectors as well as the progress of the Regional Processing Centre
Following the cabinet meeting, Ms
Bishop and her delegation visited RPC 1 where they attended another
meeting with service providers of the centre.
This meeting was essentially an
opportunity for the service providers to update the minister on
work being done at the centres and the working relationship between
them and the Nauru Government.
Lunch was later hosted by His
Excellency President Baron Waqa at the Menen hotel.
President Waqa and Ms Bishop both
gave speeches highlighting the ongoing mutual support and respect
both countries have enjoyed, before exchanging gifts.
Ms Bishop and her delegation were
later escorted to the Nauru Secondary School that was recently
refurbished under Australian aid and the TVET centre, prior to
their departure shortly after 3.00pm Nauru time.
Ms Bishop was accompanied on this
trip by adviser Gabby Young, Parliamentary Secretary Senator Brett
Mason, deputy Leader of the Australian Opposition and Shadow
minister for Foreign Affairs Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Chief of Staff
to Ms Plibersek Daniel Doran, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for
Foreign Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite, Ambassador for Women and Girls
Natasha Stott Despoja, First Assistant Secretary Pacific Division
Department of Foreign Affairs Kathy Klugman and media
representative Antony Walker.