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London calling as AUKMIN reaffirms key alliance

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne will take part in the annual AUKMIN forum in London (source Reuters)

Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop have announced that they will be meeting with their UK counterparts as part of the annual Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations (AUKMIN) on 19-20 July.

Australia has a strong and dynamic relationship with the UK, underpinned by shared heritage, common values and closely-aligned strategic outlook.

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Ministers Bishop and Payne will meet with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt and Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson CBE to discuss mutual trade and security interests. 

In a joint statement, the ministers said, "We will engage with our British counterparts across a range of foreign policy, defence and security interests. The annual consultations are an opportunity to identify areas where both nations can co-operate more closely in the pursuit of our shared interests including in our region, the Indo-Pacific."

Speaking ahead of the summit, Secretary Hunt said, "Australia is one of the UK’s closest allies and I am delighted to be co-hosting Foreign Minister Bishop and Defence Minister Payne so soon after being appointed as Foreign Secretary. Our relationship with Australia is based on shared history, interests and values, and we have a dynamic modern friendship including a significant exchange of people and goods. The recent commissioning of nine warships from BAE, to be manufactured in Australia, is a sterling example of this relationship in action." 

The UK is Australia’s second largest source of foreign investment, worth $481.4 billion in 2017, and fifth largest two-way trading partner, with $27 billion in goods and services in 2017.

Secretary Williamson said, "We are entering an exciting new era for Britain and Australia with our two nations having one of the strongest relationships in the world. With both our world-class armed forces respected and present all over the globe, defence is one of the pillars of our deep and enduring relationship."

AUKMIN is the premier forum for the discussion of high-level foreign policy, defence and security issues between Australia and the UK. It is an opportunity to identify areas where Australia and the UK can co-operate more closely in the pursuit of shared interests, including in the Indo-Pacific region.

London calling as AUKMIN reaffirms key alliance
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