Australian defense minister seeks to boost ties on first trip to Europe
Bangkok, Aug 28 (EFE).- Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said Sunday he would tour Germany, the United Kingdom, and France to boost security ties with Europe.
The visit beginning Monday will be the first the minister to the European countries since the Labor government led by Anthony Albanese took power in Australia in May.
“This is an opportunity to reaffirm the government’s commitment to strengthen Australia’s defence ties with these key European partners,” Marles tweeted.
A defense ministry statement said Marles would meet each of his counterpart defense ministers, members of the defense and national security communities, think tanks, and industry partners.
“This visit reflects the importance we attach to our European partnerships and reaffirms the government’s commitment to working together towards shared strategic goals that transcend geography,” Marles said in the statement.
In Germany, he will reaffirm the strength of Australia’s bilateral relationship with a key like-minded partner, meeting with German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht and participating in a roundtable with the defense industry.
While in the United Kingdom, the minister will visit key shipyards to “build some of the world’s most capable ships and submarines,” the statement said.
The visit to France will build on the Albanese government’s commitment to restore and renew the defense relationship with one of Australia’s oldest and most capable partners.
“My visit to Europe comes at a time when the war in Ukraine has shown the importance of increasing cooperation with likeminded partners, both in Europe and the Indo-Pacific,” Marles said.
The tour comes just months after the Australian minister visited Japan in June.
In Tokyo, he held talks to foster bilateral defense cooperation to counter China’s growing military influence in Asia. EFE