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Transcript of press conference: 15 February 2013: naming ceremony - Nuship Canberra

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Minister for Defence - Transcript - Naming Ceremony - Nuship Canberra

15 February 2013




STEPHEN SMITH: This is a great day for the Australian Defence Force and this is a great day for

Australian-Spanish relationships and in the context Pedro can I formally welcome you to Australia

and can I ask our Australian friends to acknowledge the visit to Australia of Pedro Morenés and his

delegation, ladies and gentlemen.

This is Pedro’s first visit to Australia and it obviously his first visit to Australia as Defence Minister,

fifteen to twenty years ago such a visit would have been unheard of but now Spain has been

heavily and intricately involved in the transformation of our Navy, involved, not just in the

production of the Landing Helicopter Docks but also in our Air Warfare Destroyer project.

I think Pedro it is true to say not that the Armada is coming but that the Armada is here. The

Memorandum of Understanding that we sign reflects what has been over a 15 year period, an

extraordinary development in a military to military and defence to defence relationship.

And over that period we have discovered not just that we have a great love of shipbuilding as two

maritime nations in common but we have shared values, shared virtues and a very common view

of our world and we are side by side in Afghanistan as we seek to do our bit as we help stare

down international terrorism.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding today reflects a great partnership between two

great countries and I’d like you to welcome Pedro Morenés, Spain’s Defence Minister, to make

some remarks before we sign a significant agreement between our two countries.