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Deputy PM to encourage AUKUS progress during UK, US meetings



Australia’s acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines will be front of mind for Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles as he visits the US and the UK.

Marles will travel to the United States and United Kingdom this week to discuss shared security objectives with international counterparts from 30 October, following recent meetings with representatives from South Korea and Papua New Guinea.

In the US, the Deputy Prime Minister will meet with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III, US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, senior members of the Biden administration, members of Congress, and defence industry representatives.

While in the UK, the Deputy Prime Minister will meet with newly appointed Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP; Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP; and defence industry representatives.

“This is a valuable opportunity to meet with my counterparts in the United States and the United Kingdom and to build on the strong progress we have made on Australia’s acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.

“Australia’s alliance with the United States is unprecedented in scale, scope, and significance and I look forward to building on our productive discussions at AUSMIN in July.

“The visit to the United Kingdom will be an important opportunity to meet my counterparts, Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps, and Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, to discuss increased cooperation across the breadth of our relationship.

“I look forward to attending the Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit in London and working with global leaders to discuss both the opportunities and risks surrounding this transformative technology.

“Ministers will focus on continuing to modernise the Australia–UK relationship, deepening defence and security collaboration in support of global peace and security, and realising our shared commitments under the AUKUS partnership, he said.

The upcoming meetings will build upon recent meetings attended by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, discussions made at AUSMIN 2023, progression of important legislation to improve the defence industrial base between the UK, US, and Australia.

The Deputy Prime Minister will also represent Australia at the Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit Leaders’ level discussions, alongside Minister Husic attending ministers’ level discussions and meet the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP to thank him for his personal leadership and commitment to the bilateral relationship during his time as the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Defence.

Source : Defence Connect

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