Visit to the United Kingdom

Media Release – Tuesday 28 April 2015

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Today I met with United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon.  This was our second face-to-face meeting this year, following the Australia-United Kingdom Ministerial Consultations (AUKMIN) in Sydney in February.

These bilateral discussions provided an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of Australia’s close partnership with the United Kingdom on a range of security issues, opportunities to improve interoperability between our armed forces, cooperation on the Joint Strike Fighter, and dialogue surrounding maritime capability and emerging defence technologies.

Australia and the United Kingdom have a long and enduring Defence partnership. This partnership has been forged in adversity.

Three days ago, we commemorated the 100th anniversary since the fateful landings of the Anzacs on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915.  Australia and the United Kingdom stood side by side during World War One, including during the Gallipoli campaign. We have fought alongside each other in almost every major conflict since.

This visit is a timely opportunity to share insights as both countries prepare to deliver defence policy papers later this year – the Australian Defence White Paper and the United Kingdom Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Australia and the United Kingdom continue to share an interest in addressing threats to a peaceful, prosperous and rules-based global order, including terrorism and instability in the Middle East and violent extremism at home.

Australia stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the United Kingdom and other coalition partners in the fight against Daesh and I welcome the active role the United Kingdom has taken in the coalition to combat this global terrorist threat.

Australia and the United Kingdom have an enduring strategic partnership and are committed to working together to promote our shared agenda of enhancing security and prosperity in an increasingly challenging global environment.

Whilst in the United Kingdom, I also met with the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Vernon Coaker.