This week I will travel to Israel to attend the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.
On 31 October 1917 regiments of the Australian Light Horse Brigade captured the city of Beersheba. It was a momentous victory and one of the last great cavalry charges in history.
I am honoured to represent Australia at the 100th anniversary commemorations of this historic charge, where 31 Australians paid the ultimate sacrifice.
This visit will deepen and strengthen Australia’s ties with Israel, and build on the bilateral relationship that our two nations share.
It is an opportunity to cement the commitments made during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s historic visit to Australia in February.
I look forward to reinforcing our increasingly diverse relationship and discussing areas of mutual interest, including science and technology, innovation, security and trade and investment.
Our defence ties have become a vital part of the relationship between Australia and Israel. As a result of this visit we aim to upgrade the cooperation on defence, national security, and the protection of crowded places.
Our nations can learn a great deal from each other in order to strengthen security and keep our citizens safe.
I will be accompanied on this visit by Minister for Veterans Affairs’ and Cyber Security, Dan Tehan.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of Australia’s bilateral relationship with Sri Lanka, and I am delighted to be able to visit Sri Lanka on my return from Israel.
I had the pleasure of meeting President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe during their visits to Australia earlier this year.
I look forward to continuing our discussions on strengthening our economic links, defence engagement, and our work together to combat trans-national crime, particularly people-smuggling.