British and Australian ministers today (Friday 21 January) concluded vital defense and security talks following the first meetings of Australian Foreign and Defense Ministers (AUKMIN) since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
Discussions focused on key geopolitical challenges, including concerns over the situation in Ukraine. Ministers agreed on the vital need to defend freedom in the face of growing Russian aggression and underlined their unwavering solidarity with Ukraine.
Ministers agreed to intensify collaboration to deter malicious threats, promote positive critical technology standards and support the development of quality infrastructure and standards.
They reiterated their commitment to help Indo-Pacific countries build resilience, security and sovereignty.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:
As the world faces increasing aggression from malicious actors, it is essential that the UK strengthens and deepens its partnerships with its closest allies.
Today (Friday 21 January 2021), we committed to creating new and improved opportunities for collaboration with Australia in areas such as maritime security, counter-terrorism, disinformation, cyber and technology.
Alliances between freedom-loving democracies like the UK and Australia are essential if we are to win the battle of ideas.
Discussions also focused on progress to date on AUKUS – our historic partnership to strengthen our security and defense interests alongside our American allies.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said:
Britain and Australia share one of the oldest and strongest defense and security alliances.
Operating and exercising side by side, we continue to work together to promote stability and tackle our common threats head-on with our like-minded ally.
This week I met my friend and close Defense counterpart, Peter Dutton, to discuss our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific through AUKUS – the trilateral security partnership between the UK, Australia and the United States which will see us collaborating on advanced technologies, including nuclear-powered submarines.
The AUKUS partnership aims to provide a nuclear-powered submarine capability to the Royal Australian Navy. The UK has built and operated a world-class nuclear-powered submarine capability for over 60 years and we bring deep expertise and experience to this partnership.