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Australia’s defense and foreign ministers to visit Europe to boost relations with Britain and France

Australia’s defense and foreign ministers announced today a trip to Europe this week, with the goal of deepening security ties with France and the UK, and emphasizing that the Indo-Pacific region is a major area of concern.

The Australian defense and foreign ministers said in a statement that the visit from January 30 to February 2 included consultations between the Australian and French foreign and defense ministers in Paris, as well as Australia-UK diplomacy in London and Portsmouth. Consultation meeting with the Minister of Defense.

China’s influence is growing day by day. Last year, it signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands. Australia has set out to improve its relations with the Pacific region.

In France, the two sides will focus on discussing the “increasingly challenging strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific and Europe”; in the UK, the agenda will cover modernizing bilateral relations, addressing climate change, building economic resilience and global peace and security.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will also meet European Union officials in Brussels, while Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles will travel to the United States to meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after his trip, the statement said.

“Deepening our pragmatic cooperation with France in the Indo-Pacific, reflecting the priorities of our partnership, is critical to our vision of regional stability,” Wong said of the trip.

Marles said that he looks forward to discussing with the UK and France on issues such as Indo-Pacific security and continued support for Ukraine, and discussing the Australia-UK-US trilateral security partnership (AUKUS) with the UK counterpart. The agreement between the United States, Britain and Australia provides Australia with conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarine technology.

“The UK tour also provided a great opportunity to discuss AUKUS,” Mallers said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said this month his government still had a “very positive” stance on the deal, despite reports that the United States was concerned that AUKUS would damage the US industrial base.

Source : 聯合新聞網



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