SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joins me now live from Canberra. Minister, good morning. You must feel for Peter's parents when you see that vision.

JULIE BISHOP: We are utterly dismayed by this sentence. We're appalled by the severity of it. I called Peter's parents last night. As you will have seen and heard, of course, they're devastated. We are all shocked by this verdict. Based on the evidence that we've seen, we just cannot understand how a court could have come to that conclusion.

We haven't seen the reasons for the verdict yet - I understand that they will be provided to his lawyers in due course - but we join the rest of the world in condemning this.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: So what can the government do to try to have this sentence reviewed or overturned?

JULIE BISHOP: First, the Greste family are considering the legal appeal options and, as you heard Andrew say they'll be considering that legal advice over the next few days. In the meantime, we have called in the Egyptian Ambassador - he's actually in Cairo at present, so we're seeking to make contact with the Egyptian Ambassador in Cairo. In the meantime, we're calling in hisdeputy here in Canberra to register our concerns at the highest level.

I am seeking to make contact with Foreign Minister Shoukri - he is the new Foreign Minister. I spoke with him over the weekend but I'm trying to make contact with him again. He's currently travelling. I'm seeking a call with him to register our shock and dismay. Then we are going to register a formal diplomatic-level request with the new President of Egypt to see if he can intervene in the proceedings at this stage. We are told that it's an independent legal process and that the appeal process must be allowed to take its course before the President can consider a pardon or any clemency. But we are going to seek to find if there's an intervention that can be made at this stage of the proceedings.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Right, okay, well that sounds good.

Minister, US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Baghdad at the moment for meetings. He's described it as a "draconian sentence" and "a disturbing setback to Egyptian's transition". Have you spoken with him, and do you see John Kerry and perhaps the White House as our best bet at having this sentence overturned for Peter Greste?

JULIE BISHOP: We've been working with the United States from the outset in relation to this. I haven't been providing a running commentary through the media because I wanted to give Peter Greste's legal team every opportunity to presenthis defence without there being seen to be a political interference from Australia.

But I can assure you that, behind the scenes, we have been working with other governments, including the United States. We've been working with governments in the region who are closer to Egypt than Australia is. We have been making representations at every level - not only within the interim Egyptian Government and the new government, but within other governments. I know that they have also been making representations on Australia's behalf for Peter Greste, registering the concern that this is not the path to democracy that Egypt claims - that freedom of the press is fundamental to democracy and that the jailing of journalists in the position of Peter Greste - who had just arrived in Egypt before he was detained, then this is not a message that Egypt should be sending the world. We'll do all we can to get Peter Greste home as soon as possible.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Absolutely, well that is good to hear. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, thank you for your time this morning.

JULIE BISHOP: Thank you.

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