“Late last year there was a good discussion in the Senate estimates as to what drove our approach and it’s probably not my place to comment on that, that’s more up to Secretary of State’s country [Penny] Wong,” he said.
Conroy also held meetings with colleagues from the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, India, Ukraine, Singapore, Japan and Sweden during his stay in Munich, where he shared the message not to lose focus on the Indo-Pacific.
Russia and Iran were excluded from this year’s gathering, but China’s chief diplomat Wang Yi used his platform to call the United States “hysterical” for shooting down the suspected Chinese spy balloon over its airspace.
He also refused to rule out an impending military escalation over Taiwan, which Beijing has promised to reunify.
Conroy called the speech an “interesting contribution”.
“It’s probably not helpful for me to contribute to this debate about Taiwan,” he said.
He said he had encouraged Europeans to continue their engagement in the region, citing Germany’s involvement in last year’s Pitch Black military exercise in the Northern Territory alongside French, British and US air forces.
Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who was having lunch with Conroy in Munich, said Germany would support but not interfere if conflict erupted in the Indo-Pacific.
“What we can do is to help them in any way and that is why it is very important that together we show presence, show solidarity and understanding for this mission.
“I would rather not see a military intervention by German troops in the Pacific, but help, solidarity, support for sanctions and political action in the UN – every time,” he said.
Pistorius said Americans had already begun to focus more on the Indo-Pacific, which was having implications for Europe.
Pistorius said he was asked by Singaporeans to attend this year’s Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore. The meeting is Asia’s first defense meeting and has long been overlooked by Germany. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is the keynote speaker this year.
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https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/ukraine-didn-t-ask-us-to-reopen-kyiv-embassy-says-pat-conroy-20230219-p5clr7.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Ukraine hasn’t asked Australia to reopen embassy in Kyiv: Pat Conroy