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Prosperity and stability top of the agenda as Foreign and Defence Secretaries travel to Australia

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Ministry of Defence

The Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary head to Australia for annual AUKMIN ministerial meeting.

  • Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary to attend annual UK-Australia summit in Canberra and Adelaide.    
  • AUKMIN ministerial meeting to focus on close co-operation across joint priorities, tackling global challenges including supporting Ukraine, climate change and boosting mutual prosperity .    
  • Both the UK and Australia will continue to work together with partners to help ensure the Indo-Pacific region is open, stable and free from coercion.    

The Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary will bolster closer cooperation between the UK and Australia at the annual Australia UK Foreign and Defence Ministerial meetings (AUKMIN) in Canberra and Adelaide.   

They will underline the ties that allow the UK and Australia to work closely together on everything from trade to security, boosting mutual prosperity, growing both economies and keeping our people safe.   

David Cameron and Grant Shapps will meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard to collectively galvanise support on shared global challenges including support for Ukraine, peace in the Middle East and stability in the Indo-Pacific.    

The ministers will take stock of the progress made under AUKUS, the landmark defence and security partnership between the UK, US, and Australia reflecting the deep level of trust and cooperation between our countries. One of the most strategically important capability collaborations in decades, AUKUS is a central part of the UK’s efforts to deepen relationships with our closest partners to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.  

The Foreign Secretary, David Cameron said:    

The UK and Australia have strong and enduring bonds which have never been more important than they are today.    

Our relationship is a point of stability in a fast-changing, dangerous and uncertain world.    

Those ties, that understanding of one another, allow us to work closely on our joint priorities and face up to global challenges. 

The Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said:  

The UK and Australia fought side by side 80 years ago against tyranny on the beaches of Normandy. Today our two great nations continue to stand together to secure peace and prosperity the world over.  

We’re facing the challenges of a more dangerous world together, and through partnerships like AUKUS and our continued support to Ukraine, we’re defending our freedoms and shared values. 

On Ukraine, the UK and Australia stand shoulder-to-shoulder against Putin’s illegal invasion, and already work closely together, such as through our joint work to train over 35,000 Ukrainian recruits in the UK, and Australia’s contribution to the UK-led International Fund for Ukraine.    

On the Middle East, the Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary will drive forwards the UK’s desire for an immediate humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza, to get aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to destruction, fighting and loss of life.    

The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister Wong will also recognise that the rates of Gender Based Violence in the Pacific are amongst the highest in the world and act to prevent escalation through a Memorandum of Understanding.   

Over the past two years alone, Australian capital investors’ commitments to the UK have been in excess of £41 billion and they are already unpinning UK infrastructure and supporting urban transformations. At a meeting with Australia’s major capital investors, the Foreign Secretary will highlight the importance of Australian capital to the UK economy and encourage investors to diversify and support energy transition and HMG’s key priorities.   

The Foreign Secretary will show the strength of the UK-Australia trading relationship through our Free Trade Agreement. The deal - which came into force last year and means there are no tariffs on 100% of UK goods exports to Australia and over 99% of Australian goods exports to the UK - has brought benefits to Britons and Australians alike, creating jobs and growth in both countries.  

He will also press for the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), signed in July last year. With the Indo-Pacific set to account for half of global growth by 2050, membership of the CPTPP would enhance the UK’s economic engagement and promote prosperity in the region.  

He will also push for joint action on climate finance for Small Island Developing States and a more representative multilateral system better equipped to deliver against yesterday’s challenges.   

This includes dealing with the devasting effects of climate change, where Island States in the Pacific are on the front line. The UK and Australia will look to step up their commitments to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, including by transitioning to renewable energy sources, promoting low-emission technologies as part of a joint Clean Tech partnership the 2 countries signed in 2021.     

The Defence Secretary will meet with defence companies during an industry roundtable to discuss greater government and industry cooperation and drive forward support for Ukraine.   

He will also attend the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial where he will lay a wreath in memory of all those who have given their lives for our freedoms.

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prosperity-and-stability-top-of-the-agenda-as-foreign-and-defence-secretaries-travel-to-australia

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