Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith will host their United Kingdom counterparts Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Liam Fox, at the third Australia–United Kingdom Ministerial (AUKMIN) consultations tomorrow.
“We are very pleased to be hosting Mr Hague and Dr Fox for AUKMIN in Sydney at HMAS Watson. This is a very significant AUKMIN as it is the first visit by UK Cabinet Secretaries to Australia since the election of the Cameron Government in May 2010,” Mr Rudd said.
AUKMIN is the premier forum for Australian and UK Foreign and Defence Ministers to discuss strategic, foreign, security and defence matters of common concern.
“AUKMIN provides Ministers with an opportunity for frank and in-depth discussions on global challenges and provides an opportunity to identify future directions for bilateral cooperation.
“This forum reflects the closeness of the Australia–UK relationship and our aligned strategic outlook, which enables us to work together to find global solutions to global challenges,” Mr Rudd said.
“Discussions at AUKMIN III will focus on current foreign, defence and security policy challenges, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan; changing dynamics in Asia; and approaches to counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism, space and cyber-security,” Mr Smith said.
“The talks will set the direction of our bilateral defence relationship, reflecting contemporary, shared security interests.”
AUKMIN has previously been held in Leeds in 2008 and London in 2006. This is the first time that AUKMIN consultations will be held in Australia.
Australia’s close and important relationship with the UK is underpinned by our shared heritage, common values and closely aligned strategic outlook and interests. We share a long and distinguished record of active service and cooperation around the world, including currently in Afghanistan.
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