26 Aug 2018

Australia's foreign minister resigns from Cabinet

4:19 pm on 26 August 2018

The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has quit.

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Photo: AFP

In a statement, Ms Bishop said she had advised Prime Minister Scott Morrison of her decision.

"I will remain on the backbench as a strong voice for Western Australia," she said.

"I have been pre-selected by the Liberal Party for the seat of Curtin and I have made no decision regarding the next election."

Ms Bishop's decision comes after she was knocked out in the first round of the three-way Liberal leadership contest which installed Mr Morrison as PM.

Up until Friday's leadership spill she had been deputy leader of the Liberal Party for more than a decade, having taken on the position in the aftermath of the Howard Government's election defeat in November 2007.

Ms Bishop had served as foreign affairs minister since the Liberals regained government under Tony Abbott in September 2013.

As foreign minister, Ms Bishop was tasked with how to deal with an expansive China.

Australia has largely avoided the trade wars and angry rhetoric exchanged between the US and China, despite periods of mixed messages between the nations over the South China Sea and Beijing's influence in the Pacific.

Ms Bishop also campaigned in the United Nations to get access to the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash site after the shocking downing of the plane over rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine in July 2014.

After a joint investigation into the incident concluded the Russian military was behind the missile attack, she demanded the suspects be extradited to the Netherlands to face trial.