Wish for peace in 2017
mansion, among about 9000 already processed in a 12,000 intake announced by Canberra earlier this year.
Asked if the intake could be increased because of Aleppo’s collapse, Ms Bishop said Syrians could also come through the “regular” humanitarian and the refugee visa system, which was increasing by 5000 places to 18,750.
“Plus we have to fill the 12,000 cohort. We’ll obviously keep this under review,” she said.
The new year will also bring confirmation or rejection by the US Senate of her prospective American counterpart, Secretary of State-elect and Exxon-Mobile oilman Rex Tillerson, who is under scrutiny for his close business relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ms Bishop said other businessmen, such as George Shultz, had made “very good” secretaries of state and Mr Tillerson’s awareness of issues in countries where Exxon-Mobile operated, including Australia and Papua New Guinea, should be an opportunity.
“There have been some secretaries of state who have never been to Australia before they became Secretary of State, so in this regard he has an awareness, an understanding of Australia, and we should take advantage of that,” she said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s hope is for peace in Syria.