French/Australian defence cooperation boosted

During French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Australia this week, several Defence issues were discussed and initiatives initiated.

FILE PHOTOA French Navy Alouette III lifts off from Ile Des Pins airfield during Exercise Croix du Sud 2016 in New Caledonia. Photo by Corporal David Said.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne and French Assistant Minister for Defense Genevieve Darrieussecq signed a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) between the two nations today – and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and his counterpart Florence Parly will bring together a new annual Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium.

The MLSA will improve Australian Defence Force and French Armed Forces combined operations by enabling mutual access to logistics services, resources and logistics training.

“This signing reflects the deepening of the defence relationship between Australia and France, which will aid practical cooperation between our defence forces,” Minister Payne said.

“We conduct vital humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training with the French, including through the upcoming Exercise Croix du Sud, and this treaty will improve our ability to work together in response to events in the South Pacific.”

Minister Pyne said he was looking forward to co-chairing the Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium.

“The Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium will focus on identifying further opportunities to deepen our defence industry and capability cooperation for the benefit of both nations,” Minister Pyne said.

“Australian and French businesses already have a strong track record of partnering to develop and deliver innovative capabilities.”

Cyber security, submarines and Chinese expansionism were also high on the defence agenda during President Macron’s three-day official visit.

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Brian Hartigan

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