In its Policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific that were adopted last September, the German Government set itself the goal of further developing its partnerships in the region. A key partner in this regard is Australia. On 10 June, the Foreign and Defence Ministers met virtually for the second Germany–Australia 2+2 political and security policy consultations. Australia was represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton; Germany by Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas. The meeting focused on enhanced bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation between the two countries – which share fundamental values and interests and have similar views on security policy issues.
Australia – a natural partner in the Indo-Pacific who shares our values
Germany and Australia have had a Strategic Partnership since 2013. This is now being lifted to a new level: today (10 June), Foreign Ministers Marise Payne and Heiko Maas signed a declaration on an Enhanced Strategic Partnership. With it, Germany and Australia are signalling their desire to further expand common efforts to promote democracy, multilateralism and human rights. The declaration covers the entire spectrum of political and security policy relations, with a focus on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. This also applies to closer cooperation and coordination in addressing new challenges, such as countering cyber threats, terrorism and disinformation. Moreover, closer cooperation is envisaged in the economic, scientific and technological spheres; this includes in particular cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence, renewable energies and Industrie 4.0 (digitalisation of the economy).
Security policy cooperation with the Indo-Pacific region
In September 2020, the German Government enhanced its strategic focus on the region by adopting its Policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific. This involves diversifying its relations and developing strategic partnerships with the region. Enhanced political dialogue, for example in the form of the 2+2 consultations, is an important part of these efforts. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer most recently held 2+2 consultations with Japan in April.