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Australia and Israel sign defence industry agreement

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Australia and Israel will bolster their defence and security ties under a new agreement signed by prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday during Prime Minister Turnbull's 48-hour visit to the country.

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"I want to acknowledge the importance of the memorandum we have just signed," PM Turnbull said.

"We have a vitally important national enterprise to create a sovereign defence industry in Australia on a scale that matches our defence spending.

"We have the largest investment in defence capabilities underway in Australia at the moment ever in peace time. A massive investment, particularly in our naval forces. Fifty-four naval vessels will be built as a result of decisions taken by my government."

Prime Minister Turnbull said the agreement and future collaboration between Australia and Israel will focus on strengthening cyber security, an area largely touted as the next battlefield.

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"It is a commitment to our sovereign defence industries in Australia and we seek to partner with friends and allies all around the world and we look forward to deeper collaboration with Israel in defence industry and in particular in the cyber domain," he said.

"We face common threats and we talked about those at length.The threat of Islamist terrorism in this region where our armed forces are, of course, in the anti-ISIL coalition.

"And also, of course, in our region where we’ve seen ISIL insurrection, ISIL-backed insurrections in the Philippines. And again we’ve been supporting the government of the Philippines in defending their democracy and their way of life against those terrorists so much closer to us. 

"But the reality is that nowhere is very far away from anywhere ... the truth is in a day of the internet, everywhere is just a fraction of a second away from everywhere else.

"The truth is that technology has empowered individuals in a way that was scarcely imaginable not so many years ago but it is also empowered individuals and individual actors who seek to do us harm."

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan will join the PM in Israel to lead a dialogue focused on fostering better collaboration in cyber security between the two nations.

"The cyber security agenda is more important than ever," Prime Minister Turnbull said.

"Dan Tehan ... is here leading a delegation for a cyber security dialogue here in Israel, happening right at the moment. And we are going to take that further to have a closer collaboration on cyber security and we’ll be having another dialogue with government industry and academia in Canberra next year.

"We have a vital interest in working more closely together all of the time. More closely and intensely together to keep our people safe from terrorism and from the use of the internet, encrypted applications especially, which are so enabling terrorism in a way that would have seemed impossible, as I said, a few years ago."

There are currently 16 Israeli companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, many of which specialise in the cyber security and technology fields.

 

Australia and Israel sign defence industry agreement
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