Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles is visiting Germany, the United Kingdom and France from 29 August to 1 September. This is the Deputy Prime Minister’s first visit to these three countries since assuming office and is an important opportunity to reaffirm the Albanese Government’s commitment to strengthen Australia’s defence ties with these key European partners. The Deputy Prime Minister will meet each of his counterpart defence ministers, members of the defence and national security communities, think tanks, and industry partners.

In Germany, the Deputy Prime Minister will reaffirm the strength of Australia’s bilateral relationship with a key likeminded partner, meeting with German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht and participating in a roundtable with defence industry. While in the United Kingdom, the Deputy Prime Minister will visit key shipyards, which build some of the world’s most capable ships and submarines. The visit to France will build on the Albanese Government’s commitment to restore and renew the defence relationship with one of Australia’s oldest and most capable partners.

Richard Marles

Marles said “This visit reflects the importance we attach to our European partnerships and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to working together towards shared strategic goals that transcend geography. Meeting each of my defence counterparts in Germany, the United Kingdom and France is a unique opportunity to discuss and deepen defence cooperation. I look forward to meeting Minister Lambrecht and advancing our defence relationship with Germany, following the recent engagement with Germany participating in Exercise Pitch Black for the first time- I was most excited to meet with the Luftwaffe, during my visit to Darwin only days ago. Similarly, I look forward to meeting with Minister Lecornu in France, where we can develop proposals under the defence and security pillar of the proposed bilateral Roadmap. Our relationship with the United Kingdom is both historic and mutually beneficial, and is reflected through our continued commitment to AUKUS. I look forward to meeting my counterpart, Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, and collaborating on a new era of opportunities and challenges. My visit to Europe comes at a time when the war in Ukraine has shown the importance of increasing cooperation with likeminded partners, both in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.”

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