Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Australia and UK discuss Space at the third Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations (AUKMIN III)

In the third Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations (AUKMIN III) held in Sydney on the 18th of January 2011 between Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd, Australian Minister for Defence Stephen Smith, UK First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague and UK Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox, Space was high on the Agenda.

The ministers focussed on the Space Arms control aspects in their Joint Communiqué, saying:

"Australia and the UK welcomed the US decision, reflected in the June 2010 US National Space Policy, to consider practical and verifiable space arms control measures. Australia and the UK supported the need for space arms control measures that meet these criteria and agreed that they should be focused on preventing behaviours that threaten the peaceful use of space by all nations.

Australia and the UK also agreed to support the development and implementation of transparency and confidence building measures for space, to enhance stability and safety in space activities."

Following on from the recent AUSMIN discussions on Space between Australia and the United States,the AUKMIN talks mark a further escalation of the priority of Space to the current Australian Government.

The talks certainly signal a closer cooperation in Space between Australia and the UK in the future, particularly from a defence perspective, but perhaps also from a civilian perspective.

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