Bilateral meetings in Germany

Media Release – Thursday 23 April 2015

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Today I met with Minister for Defence, Dr Ursula von der Leyen, marking the first official visit by an Australian Defence Minister to Germany in more than 15 years.

During our bilateral meeting, I reaffirmed the strength of Australia’s Defence relationship with Germany.

While Australia and Germany are geographically distant we share many common security interests. We are both NATO partners, we both contribute to international coalition efforts and we both have voiced concerns for the current security challenges in Ukraine.

Like Australia, Germany will contribute troops as part of the US-led Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. Both Australia and Germany have a deep and abiding interest in the destruction of the Daesh death cult.

As announced by the Government on 20 February this year, Germany has been indentified as a potential international partner for Australia’s future submarines programme.  As part of my programme, tomorrow I will tour the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems shipyards.

For Australian industry to have the best opportunity to maximise their involvement in the future submarine programme they need to work with an international partner.

The future submarine programme is the largest Defence procurement programme in Australia’s history and represents a $50 billion investment in Australia’s safety and security. It is vital that we get this program right so our Navy has the right capability to support them.