NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

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13 Jun. 2012

NATO Secretary General calls for closer ties with Australia

Australia and NATO need to forge closer security ties to address common security challenges in the years ahead, NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a speech to the National Press Club of Australia.

At the start of a three-day visit to Australia, the Secretary General said on Wednesday (13 June) that despite being geographically far away from NATO nations, Australia shared many common values with NATO allies, making it a natural partner. “We may be oceans apart, but we are partners in security,” said the Secretary General. “The common challenges we face only serve to bring us closer together.”

Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said that Australia and NATO face increasingly complex and unpredictable security challenges.The Secretary General pointed to terrorism, cyber attacks and piracy as examples of the global security challenges that both NATO and Australia face. “Geography and distance no longer protect us. No country or continent can be insulated against global challenges – or deal with them on their own,” he said. “So NATO-Australian cooperation is not as strange as it might appear at first sight. In fact, it makes perfect sense. Because we are like-minded and we are single minded when it comes to security.” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said Australia and NATO share the same commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights “and we share the courage to stand up for those values.” He pointed to Australia’s strong commitment to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, where Australia is among the top ten troop contributing nations. The Secretary General said a main reason for his visit to Canberra and Sydney was to convey NATO’s gratitude and thanks for Australia’s vital contribution to the mission. Australia currently has 1,550 troops in Afghanistan.

He said NATO looked forward to working more closely with Australia not only through their cooperation in Afghanistan, but also in other areas like developing military capabilities. This would include training, education and joint exercises. “I see particular scope for closer cooperation between our special forces and I am convinced that our cooperation should also encompass maritime security and cyber security,” said the Secretary General. “This is how we can learn from each other, share best practices, develop common standards, and reinforce each other's efforts to all our benefits.”

Closer cooperation is expected to be the focus of talks between the Secretary General with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Stephen Smith, Australia’s Minister of Defence during his visit to the country. 

The Secretary General will also lay a wreath at Australia’s War Memorial to pay tribute to Australia’s armed forces and meet with university students to discuss security issues during his trip.

Last updated: 13-Jun-2012 11:32

High resolution photos

Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivering his speech at the National Press Club of Australia 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) where he met with Australian defence personnel and Lt. Gen. David Hurley, Head of the Australian Defence Force (left) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with the Honourable Stephen Smith MP Minister for Defence of Australia (left), Lt. Gen. David Hurley, Head of the Australian Defence Force (center right) and General Peter Van Uhm, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, looking at the Danish born Australian Victoria Cross winner Private Joergen Christian Jensen 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, looking at the Danish born Australian Victoria Cross winner Private Joergen Christian Jensen 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) with the Honourable Stephen Smith MP Minister for Defence of Australia (center) and General Peter Van Uhm, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) with (from left to right) Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO, Lt. Gen. David Hurley, Head of the Australian Defence Force, Mrs Nola Anderson, Assistant Director, Branch Head of National Collection Australian War Memorial, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and General Peter Van Uhm, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) where he met with Australian defence personnel 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) where he laid a wreathe at the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier with (from left to right) Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO, Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) where he laid a wreathe at the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier with Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) where he laid a wreathe at the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with (from left to right) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with (from left to right) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center left) with (from left to right) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (ret) National President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia and Dr Brendan Nelson, Ambassador of Australia to NATO 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (left) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (left) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia, by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and Hon. Stephen Smith MP Defence Minister of Australia (right) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (center) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) meeting with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Signing of the Joint Political Declaration between Australia and NATO with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Signing of the Joint Political Declaration between Australia and NATO with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Signing of the Joint Political Declaration between Australia and NATO with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Visit to Canberra, Australia by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard (right) at Parliament House 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Opening remarks by Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Left to right: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia) and Ambassador Brendan Nelson (Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, NATO and EU) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 Dinner hosted by Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia. Left to right: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia) and Ambassador Brendan Nelson (Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, NATO and EU) 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition (left). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition (left). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 14. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition (left). 
Visit to Australia by the NATO Secretary General 15. Jun. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Sydney, during his visit to Australia. 

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