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UK-Australia advance bilateral relationship at AUKMIN 2017

On 27 July 2017, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon met in Sydney with Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne for the annual Australia-UK Ministerial talks (AUKMIN).

AUKMIN press conference

This, the 9th AUKMIN, strengthened the already close UK-Australia relationship, with a series of outcomes agreed, including further joint work on cyber, Commonwealth and modern slavery; as well as a Leadership Forum in London in 2018, to bring together business, government, academia and civil society leaders.

Speaking after the talks, Ms Bishop and Mr Johnson agreed 2017 was the most productive AUKMIN to date.

The Foreign Secretary said:

AUKMIN 2017 has been the clearest possible reminder of the values that unite Britain and Australia, of our shared dedication to the rules-based international system that has been the guarantor of stability and, of course, also of prosperity for the last 70 years. In a volatile and unpredictable world, it is more important than ever to nurture the friendships that we know best and that matter to us the most and with people we trust the most, and that is what today has been about.

The Defence Secretary said:

This was an extremely constructive and productive meeting. We are rightly proud of our history in working and fighting together in the cause of freedom. We agreed today to reforge that defence partnership to meet the challenges of our time. This is a strong relationship. Today it just got stronger.

While in Australia, the Secretaries of State met separately with Australian officials and businesses to discuss the bilateral relationship and UK-Australia trade and business opportunities.

The Foreign Secretary:

  • delivered the Lowy Institute’s annual Lowy Lecture speaking about the UK-Australia relationship, Britain in Asia and Britain in the world

  • toured the Sydney Opera House, and met with representatives of UK company Laing O’Rourke, the contractor undertaking the multi-million upgrade and first major Renewal project in the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre

  • visited the Tyro Fintech hub, to promote collaboration between the UK and Australian fintech sectors.

The Defence Secretary:

Published 15 August 2017