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Bishop discusses asylum seekers with Iran

April 18, 2015 6:33 pm

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has met with Iran’s foreign minister for the first high-level talks between Australia and Tehran in more than a decade.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Ms Bishop said she had discussed the Islamic State conflict and asylum seeker issues, as well as human rights.

“The foreign minister and I discussed this violent terrorist organisation … and we agreed that we are witnessing a more dangerous, more complex, more global form of terrorism than we have seen before,” Bishop said.

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“We had a detailed discussion about our respective roles in Iraq and the support that we’re providing to the government to build capacity within the Iraqi security forces.”

Zarif welcomed Australia’s commitment to train troops and bomb IS, but said air strikes would not be enough.

He also acknowledged concerns that Iranian-supported Shiite militias were guilty of human rights abuses, and said Iran has warned against attacks on civilians.

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