UK and Australia sign new defense deal


The United Kingdom and Australia signed a new defense agreement on Thursday in Canberra, paving the way for welcoming troops and sharing military intelligence, according to official sources.

The document includes a “status of forces agreement,” according to ministers from both countries, which facilitates the deployment and operations of soldiers from each nation in the other.

British Defense Minister Grant Shapps signed the agreement with his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, during a ceremony at parliament in Canberra.

The agreement does not constitute a full-fledged mutual defense pact, which would require one party to intervene if the other was attacked or threatened.

But both sides said they were “committed to engaging” each other in the event of a threat.

“As the world becomes more complex and uncertain, we must modernize our most important partnerships,” said Richard Marles.

“The agreements we reached today will guarantee this result in the future,” he added.

A status of forces agreement, common between NATO members, defines the rules applicable to foreign military personnel based in a host country.

Thursday’s agreement would thus facilitate, for example, the training of Australian sailors on British nuclear submarines, or the installation of British crews in Australia.

This article is originally published on


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