Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has discussed European and wider international security challenges with German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on her first official visit to the United Kingdom…

In a meeting at Horse Guards Parade the pair discussed some of the global challenges facing both countries, including tensions in the Gulf. Mr Wallace and Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer agreed that the UK and Germany should continue to hold Iran to account for its destabilising and dangerous actions in the Middle East, while encouraging it to de-escalate and seek a more peaceful path.

The pair also spoke about their strengthening bilateral relationship. The Defence Secretary congratulated Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer for taking on the mantle of hosting the 2022 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Our two nations share a passionate belief in democracy, justice and tolerance. That’s why our Armed Forces deploy on many of same missions around the globe – from countering terrorism as part of the Global Coalition against Daesh to deterring Russian aggression as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltics.”

The Defence Secretary also made clear to his German counterpart that the UK remained unwavering in its commitment to European security as it gets ready to withdraw from the EU at the end of the month and underlined the importance of NATO to European defence.

Both Germany and the UK currently lead NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroups in Lithuania and Estonia respectively. Germany provided invaluable assistance on the Tractable exercise last year, when German ports and infrastructure and UK vehicles stored in Moenchengladbach helped the British Army complete the ambitious mobilisation of over 800 troops and 200 pieces of equipment to Estonia.

Image: © Crown copyright.