Italian Defence Minister makes first Australian visit

Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti

Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti arrived in Sydney on Monday to discuss Australia-Italy defence co-operation with senior government ministers and Defence officials.

Minister Pinotti met with Australia Defence Minister Marise Payne to discuss regional security in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, as well as the counter-Daesh campaign following on from last week's counter-Daesh coalition meeting in Brussels, which both ministers attended.

Minister Payne highlighted the shared views between Australia and Italy, and their shared global security challenges.

"Australia and Italy share common views on a number of global security issues, evidenced by our respective contributions to the NATO Resolute Support Mission to Afghanistan and our contributions to the international coalition to counter Daesh,” Minister Payne said.

"Defence co-operation between Australia and Italy on issues of mutual concern enables us to respond more effectively to common global and regional security challenges."

Minister Pinotti's trip coincides with the Italian FREMM Class Frigate Carabiniere's visit to Australia, which will next dock in Melbourne after already visiting Fremantle, Adelaide and Sydney.

The frigate, built by Fincantiere, is one of three options being considered by the Australian government for the $35 billion Future Frigates deal.

The $35 billion deal is part of the government's plans to construct nine anti-submarine warfare frigates in Adelaide by 2020.

The Future Frigate program will create thousands of jobs for Australians and will indirectly support the jobs of many thousands more, according to Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.

The Fincantieri vessels are competing against designs from BAE Systems and Navantia to secure the building contract.

 

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