Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith will participate in the annual Australia-United Kingdom Ministerial consultations (AUKMIN) with their United Kingdom (UK) counterparts Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, on Monday 23 January in London.
AUKMIN is the premier forum for Australian and UK Foreign and Defence Ministers to advance strategic, foreign policy, security and defence matters of common interest.
“I look forward to engaging in frank and in-depth discussions with Mr Hague and Mr Hammond on a range global challenges and issues of shared concern such as developments in the Middle East, Iran and the DPRK; efforts supporting stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan; regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific; Europe's sovereign debt crisis; cyber security and more,” Mr Rudd said.
“AUKMIN is vital for guiding our strong relationship with the UK and identifying future directions for bilateral cooperation.”
This year’s meeting will focus on the rise of the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, including regional security architecture, emerging powers, and developments in the Middle East.
“Australia and the UK share a long and distinguished record of active service and cooperation around the world, including currently in Afghanistan. Our defence ties include close cooperation on defence materiel issues, most recently demonstrated by Australia’s acquisition of the former Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel the Largs Bay, now the HMAS Choules,” Mr Smith said.
“The talks will set the direction of our bilateral defence relationship; reflecting contemporary, shared security interests.”
AUKMIN was last held in Sydney in 2011, and has previously been held in Leeds in 2008 and in Londonin 2006.
Australia’s close and important relationship with the UK is underpinned by our shared heritage, common values and closely aligned strategic outlook and interests.
22 JANUARY 2012
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Department of Defence: (02) 6127 1999