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Sunday, May 29, 2022

UK, Australia vow to step up defense cooperation amid rise of ‘malign actors’

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of Defense says UK defense assets could be temporarily based in Australia in the future as the two nations intensify their security cooperation.

Ben Wallace and UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met with Defense Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne in Sydney for the annual AUKMIN talks.

The United Kingdom, United States and Australia have vowed to elevate security ties under the AUKUS pact, which is the framework they are using to cooperate on emerging defense technologies and develop nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.

But the nuclear submarines — if they are successfully built — are not expected to be active for almost two decades and there is speculation US or UK nuclear-powered submarines could be temporarily based in Australia in the meantime.

While Mr Wallace and Mr Dutton stressed there were no immediate plans to base British defense assets in Australia, both indicated the two countries might take that step in the future.

“In terms of basis [assets in Australia], there’s no proposal on the table to provide that additional basing [but] it could be something that we discuss at an appropriate time if it’s suitable to both parties,” Mr Dutton told reporters after the meeting.

“But I think what you’ll see is a greater regularity in visits [of British ships and submarines], in training, in people being embedded in both services, and certainly a greater cooperation in exercises.”


World Nation News Desk
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