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‘This is about stability’: Foreign Minister denies military conflict in the Persian Gulf

The Foreign Minister has defended the decision to send a warship, surveillance aircraft and Defence Force personnel to protect shipping routes in the Persian Gulf.

The move is part of a joint international effort to combat Iran’s actions in the Strait of Hormuz.

Scott Morrison has said recent disruption to shipping in the region was a threat to Australia’s national interests.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne denied Australia is preparing for military conflict.

Instead, she tells Ben Fordham Australia has a responsibility to uphold free trade.

“This is really about stability in this part of the world.

“The international waters belong to everyone, they’re critical for the free passage of trade.

“As a major trading nation, our upholding of freedom of navigation at sea is very much in our interest.”

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Former army officer Dr Rodger Shanahan tells Ross Greenwood it’s a “neat political move”.

“It’s a unique way for Australia to say it’s providing to this coalition and making sure it just ties into one of the normal rotations that we’d normally do in the region anyway.”

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