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UK And Australia Ink Fresh Defense Agreement

UK And Australia Ink Fresh Defense Agreement

The United Kingdom and Australia signed a new defense agreement in Canberra on Thursday, aiming to bolster a developing nuclear-powered submarine program with the United States. UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps and his Australian counterpart Richard Marles finalized the agreement, establishing a legal framework to facilitate troop hosting and military intelligence sharing.

While the agreement does not constitute a full mutual defense pact requiring intervention in case of an attack, it does include a commitment to consult on emerging threats and a status of forces agreement to ease soldier hosting. Shapps expressed surprise that such a treaty hadn’t been in place earlier. Alongside the United States, Australia and the UK are part of the AUKUS defense alliance, formed to counter Chinese military expansion. The AUKUS program, barely two years old, faces challenges, particularly if Donald Trump returns to power.

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The recent agreement aims to revitalize the AUKUS plan and strengthen bilateral defense cooperation. Key elements of the pact involve facilitating joint military exercises, collaboration on undersea warfare, and Australia’s participation in drone supply efforts for Ukraine, aligning with the UK’s support for Ukraine against Russian aggression. The agreement also entails closer consultation on regional threats, demonstrating increased defense engagement between the two nations. Further discussions are planned between UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong to deepen cooperation.