Tuesday, 31 January, 2023
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Australia signs security pact with Vanuatu

Australia signs security pact with Vanuatu

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SYDNEY: Australia signed a security pact with the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Tuesday, with Canberra seeking to cement its place in the region against rising Chinese influence, reports AFP.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced the signing during a visit to Vanuatu, Canberra's second such agreement with an important Pacific partner after a similar pact with Fiji in October.

Wong said Australia was proud to be Vanuatu's security partner of choice. We believe security is a shared responsibility, she said in Port Vila, in comments released by her office. The agreement would cover areas such as defence, policing and disaster relief. The pact signed with Fiji covered greater military mobility.

Australia and the United States have been attempting to reinforce their influence in the Pacific after China announced in April it had signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, just to Australia's north.