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Australia, Germany to intensify co-operation in Indo-Pacific region

Australia and Germany have agreed to upgrade their bilateral relationship to an ‘enhanced strategic partnership' that will also see the two countries intensify co-operation in the Indo-Pacific region.

The enhanced partnership, which “commits Australia and Germany to a broader strategic alignment and joint support for the multilateral system and its institutions”, was announced in a joint statement issued on 10 June following the second ‘2+2 Security Policy Consultations' between the two countries' defence and foreign ministers.

The new partnership level, which follows on the ‘strategic partnership' established between the two countries in 2013, is underpinned by a two-year action plan that will see the pair intensify their consultations on regional and global issues, including on regional security and defence policy, according to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

As part of the action plan the two countries aim to “pave the way for a multi-layered security partnership” that will include co-operation on cyber security-related issues, critical and emerging technologies, as well as on cases related to the use of 5G in industrial settings.

The plan also includes the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between Germany's Ministry of Defence and Australia's Defence Science and Technology Group, the conclusion of a declaration of intent for a military space partnership, and increased co-operation on countering foreign interference and disinformation.

The DFAT also noted that both sides will enhance their security and defence co-operation, including through training and exercises, in particular in the maritime domain and in partnership with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

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