Germany, Australia to put ties on broader footing

28th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Germany and Australia said Monday they would pursue a strategic partnership on issues ranging from defence and clean energy to non-proliferation and trade.

The countries' foreign ministers, Guido Westerwelle and Bob Carr, in Berlin signed a "declaration of intent" on deepening bilateral relations as Europe's top economy seeks to bolster its standing in Asia.

"Australia is a strategic springboard for us in the Asia-Pacific region," Westerwelle told reporters.

"We want to strengthen our already close ties, our goal is a comprehensive strategic partnership."

Carr added: "What this strategic partnership does is to enhance and formalise our already well-based cooperative relationship."

Bilateral trade volume has hit around 11 billion euros ($15 billion) and is on the rise, according to the German government.

The six-page document outlined areas of future cooperation between the allies half a world away including defence, counter-terrorism, climate change and clean technology, research, culture and social and labour policy.

The ministers said the aim was to make headway on specific initiatives during more frequent meetings between officials from the two countries.

© 2013 AFP

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