Updated March 21st, 2024 at 09:02 IST

Australia and UK Sign New Defence & Security Treaty to Meet 'Contemporary Challenges'

Refreshing the bilateral defence treaty was a commitment made at the AUKMIN conference held last year in the UK.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Refreshing the bilateral defence treaty was a commitment made at the AUKMIN conference held last year in the UK. | Image:AP
Advertisement

Melbourne: Australia and the United Kingdom signed a new defence and security cooperation agreement with the defence ministers of both countries saying it was required to meet 'contemporary challenges' to maintain a global rules-based order.

The treaty was signed by Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles and his UK counterpart Grant Shapps following annual bilateral ministerial defence talks at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday, as part of the Australia-UK Ministerial (AUKMIN) meeting, which was first held in 2006.

Advertisement

“Australia's relationship with the UK is dynamic and enduring,” Marles said in a written statement on Thursday. “From the UK's leadership of support for Ukraine and efforts to address the Houthi threat, to increasing contributions in the Pacific and the Indo-Pacific, we continue to work closely together to support a global rules-based order.” “As the world becomes more complex and uncertain, we must modernize our most important partnerships," the statement said.

Refreshing the bilateral defence treaty was a commitment made at the AUKMIN conference held last year in the UK.

Advertisement

Shapps said the treaty formalises how the two country's will consult on issues that affect each other's sovereignty and regional security.

“I think one of the most important elements is it describes a mechanism by which we consult when either of our countries are under threat and we have those discussions more formalized than it is at the moment,” Shapps said at a joint press conference with Marles at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday.

Advertisement

“We do already cooperate very significantly on defence matters, it should be said. So we'll always be looking to deepen that cooperation between our countries.” The treaty includes provisions to make it easier for the respective forces to operate together in each other's countries, such as the joint training of Ukrainian troops in the UK.

Other areas within the agreement included continued cooperation on capability development, including through the AUKUS alliance, as well as closer collaboration on undersea warfare, intelligence and military exercises.

Advertisement

(Inputs from AP. Except for the headline, Republic has not edited the content)

Advertisement

Published March 21st, 2024 at 09:02 IST