The second Australia and Germany 2+2 Security Policy Consultations between Foreign and Defence Ministries, convened on 10 June, addressed key security and regional challenges faced by both countries. The 2+2 consultations highlighted the close and trustful relations between Berlin and Canberra. Both sides committed to advancing bilateral and regional cooperation as well as an enhanced multilateral engagement. The meeting reflected our warm and dynamic bilateral relationship, built on our shared values and support for the rules-based international order.
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, held the meeting virtually with Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, and Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
Ministers committed to intensifying their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including with like-minded partners, in support of an open, inclusive and resilient region. Ministers agreed that Germany’s focus on implementation of its new “Policy Guidelines for the Indo-Pacific” to step up its engagement provided a significant opportunity for strengthening cooperation in the region.
Ministers discussed the situation in the South China Sea and underlined the centrality of UNCLOS. Ministers reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight and that the 2016 South China Sea arbitration is final and binding on the parties.
Australia welcomed the deployment of a German frigate in the Indo-Pacific in the second half of 2021.
Ministers discussed the importance of working together on COVID-19 recovery. Both sides confirmed their support for equitable global access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Ministers reaffirmed Germany’s and Australia’s support for the Afghanistan Government after the international military withdrawal.
Ministers also exchanged their views regarding matters related to Iran, North Korea, Russia and China.
Ministers reaffirmed their steadfast support for multilateral institutions, in particular the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, the World Trade Organization and the G20, and through the Alliance for Multilateralism.
Ministers discussed the importance of cooperating on countering cyber and hybrid threats, as well as disinformation.
Following the meeting, Foreign Minster Payne and Foreign Minister Maas signed a new Australia-Germany Enhanced Strategic Partnership. The Partnership lifts the bilateral relationship to a new level and commits Australia and Germany to a broader strategic alignment and joint support for the multilateral system and its institutions.