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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Monday, December 18, 2006

Australia-France Defence Cooperation Agreement

Australian Dept. of Defence: The Australia-France defence relationship will be further enhanced through the signing of a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in Paris.

I signed the DCA during a meeting with the French Minister for Defence, Michele Alliot-Marie.

The DCA between Australia and France is Australia’s first DCA with a European country.

The DCA will provide a framework for further cooperation across a broad range of military and defence civilian areas such as materiel and capability planning.

Australia and France share concerns over global threats to security, as well as a commitment to assist the Pacific region in its own stability and security.

France, in cooperation primarily with Australia and New Zealand, actively contributes to maritime surveillance, humanitarian and disaster relief assistance and support to regional defence and police forces in the Pacific and Southern Oceans.

France is an important part of the European defence industry and there is an increasingly significant level of materiel activity between Australia and France.

From France, I will travel to the Netherlands to meet the Dutch Defence Minster, Henk Kamp. Our discussions will focus on Afghanistan, where Australia and Dutch forces are cooperating on reconstruction tasks in Oruzgan Province.

I will also visit London for the inaugural Australia-UK Ministerial talks (AUKMIN).

Australia and the UK maintain important bilateral defence and security links. The AUKMIN dialogue will be a significant opportunity to discuss issues of mutual strategic interest. Both Australia and the UK have a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other issues will include the global campaign against terrorism, counter proliferation, and cooperation on intelligence and security.
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