Updated: 09/03/2014 13:18 | By Agence France-Presse

Australia to play enhanced NATO role

Australia will accept an invitation to boost its role within NATO at the group's summit in Wales, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Wednesday, saying it was in the country's national interest.


Australia to play enhanced NATO role

File photo of the NATO headquarters in Brussels - by Georges Gobet

While not a member, Canberra is a close US ally and has played an increasing part in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operations over the past decade, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bishop said Australia had been formally invited to become part of its Enhanced Partnership Programme.

"At this meeting Australia will accept a formal invitation to become an enhanced partner of NATO," she said as she left for the summit this week in Wales.

"This enhanced partnership means we will continue to cooperate at the very highest level with NATO, the most powerful political and military organisation in the world.

"This will bring considerable benefits to our defence force and to Australia more generally."

Being an enhanced member will give Australia permanent access to the organisation's planning at the earliest stages of future operations and ensure a presence in its governing councils.

Bishop said Australia would maintain autonomy in deciding the extent and character of involvement in future NATO-led operations, but would play a bigger role in global crises.

"Australia has proven itself time and again to be a reliable and capable partner," she said.

"It is in our national interests to continue to cooperate with NATO at this higher level, given that we are now in the transition phase of the longest mission that NATO has been involved in, in Afghanistan."

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。