|From left: UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss and Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton in Sydney on January 21. Photo: AFP
The annual Foreign and Defense Ministerial Dialogue of UK and Australia on Friday released a joint statement, reiterating their strong opposition to actions that raise tensions, including the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia and efforts to disrupt other countries’ utilization of their offshore resources.
In the joint statement, the British and Australian ministers affirmed their continued support for an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific region, in which the sovereign rights of all countries are respected. The two sides also pledged to continue working with their partners to ensure that the region is underpinned by rules and norms, without coercion, and that disputes are resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law.