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David Cameron backs "strong partnership" with Australia for stability

Fri, 22nd Mar 2024 06:45

(Alliance News) - Foreign Secretary David Cameron has backed closer co-operation with Australia to provide increased security and Commonwealth stability.

Cameron was speaking in Adelaide after talks with his Australian counterpart Penny Wong and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, along with Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

The talks have seen the two countries sign a defence and security agreement as well as announcing a contract for London-based defence, aerospace and security company BAE Systems PLC in the building of nuclear-powered submarines as part of the Aukus agreement between the nations and the US.

"This is a strong partnership, but it has got so much stronger in recent years," said the Foreign Secretary. "I think the discussions have shown we share analysis, we share values.

"I also say we share a pretty concrete and clear plan of action that we are going to support Ukraine.

"It is vital in resisting Russian aggression, working together to stabilise the Middle East, getting aid into Gaza and bringing about the solution to that conflict."

He said the countries will work together to help small island states, particularly with green finance, with a special focus on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa in October.

"We are not just thinking about how we try and make sure that it is a successful heads of government meeting, but also the agendas we can pursue helping Commonwealth colleagues with the challenges they face, working together in the G20 to enhance the status, lending and ability of the development banks as they finance the sustainable development goals," he said.

"(We are) working together as we fight the rollback of rights that tragically is happening in our world, whether it is women's sexual, reproductive and health rights of gay rights and other rights, but above all, in the dangerous and uncertain and difficult world that we live in today, focusing on our mutual security.

"It is a time where friends and partners need to work even more closely together on the alliances we have and that is certainly the case with Britain and Australia."

When asked about the potential impact of Donald Trump's election to a second term as US president on the Aukus agreement, Cameron said the UK would "work with whoever becomes president."

"It is up to America who they choose as their president," he said. "It is a very important principle and foreign policy not to involve yourself in other countries and actions.

"Whatever relationship we're about, whatever part of the enterprise we are involved in, whether it is Aukus or whether it is NATO arrangements, the best thing we can do is get alliances, get projects into the best possible shape.

"Whoever is the new president can see they are waiting with a very successful set of arrangements."

Shapps said the two countries were united in "maintaining global, world-based order".

"Aukus is fundamentally about freedom of navigation," he said. "About ensuring the navy and oceans are capable of being sailed freely as they should be, including here in the Indo-Pacific. Including in the South China Sea."

Wong, who described the countries' relationship as "a partnership which has been transformed to meet the challenges of our times", said discussions included formalising increased co-operation on consular issues, crisis issues and gender-based violence.

"What happens in one part of our world affects us in another," she said. "What happens in the Indo-Pacific reverberates in Europe."

By Rob Freeman

Press Association: News

source: PA

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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