CANBERRA, Australia — Australia and New Zealand leaders agreed Wednesday to hunt nearer protection ties because the latter considers sharing superior navy applied sciences with the US and Britain by the so-called AUKUS partnership.
New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon made Australia the vacation spot of his first abroad go to since forming a coalition authorities following his election in October. Luxon mentioned he and his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese, agreed at their assembly in Sydney the 2 nations’ protection and international ministers would meet in early 2024 to make sure their plans had been “aligned and coordinated.”
“We all know we’re dealing with a more difficult and sophisticated world. Shut safety and protection relationships we have now with our solely ally, Australia, could be very foundational for New Zealand,” Luxon advised reporters.
“New Zealand is dedicated to doing our share of the heavy lifting within the alliance and I’m decided that New Zealand will proceed to be alongside Australia as we search to advance our shared pursuits and our frequent values,” Luxon added.
The USA and Britain have agreed to offer Australia with a fleet of submarines powered by U.S. nuclear know-how beneath the AUKUS settlement to counter a rising navy menace to the area posed by China. AUKUS is an acronym for Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.
Luxon mentioned New Zealand was fascinated by changing into concerned in AUKUS Pillar 2: a dedication between the three companions to develop and share superior navy capabilities, together with artificial intelligence, digital warfare and hypersonics.
“We’ll work our approach by that over the course of subsequent yr as we perceive it extra and take into consideration what the alternatives could also be for us,” Luxon mentioned. “AUKUS is a vital aspect in making certain we’ve received stability and peace within the area.”
Albanese mentioned there have been alternatives for larger cooperation between the 2 nations’ militaries, notably in interoperability.
“The extra that we cooperate, the higher the profit for each of our nations,” Albanese mentioned.
New Zealand has banned nuclear-powered ships from utilizing its ports since 1984. Luxon mentioned his nation’s nuclear-free standing was “not negotiable.”