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John Howard To Visit To United Kingdom 7 November

John Howard To Visit To United Kingdom

I will travel to the United Kingdom on 7-13 November as a guest of the British Government to undertake a number of important commitments.

On 11 November, the 85th anniversary of the Armistice of World War One, I will dedicate the Australian War Memorial in London. The memorial, located in Hyde Park, is an impressive tribute to the thousands of Australians who fought alongside British forces during two world wars and will become a focus for Anzac Day services in London from 2004. Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Leader of the Federal Opposition the Hon. Simon Crean, and Australian veterans will participate in the dedication ceremony. Prior to the inauguration of the memorial I will give a major speech at Australia House on Australians at War to an audience which will include Australian and British veterans.

The visit reflects the close relationship Australia maintains with the United Kingdom and provides an opportunity for further detailed discussions on issues of mutual importance, including the war against terrorism, regional issues and bilateral trade and investment.

Together with Prime Minister Blair, I will attend the inaugural Australia-UK Leadership Forum. The Forum will provide the opportunity for high level government, business and community leaders of both countries to discuss the many common public policy challenges we face. Participants will include the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon. Alexander Downer, Mr Crean, and the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Kevin Rudd. The Forum will focus on ways to ensure that the bilateral relationship remains strong and relevant to our future. It will harness the dynamism of recent years which has seen increasing numbers of young Australians and Britons living and working in each other’s countries.

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I will hold separate discussions with Prime Minister Blair and senior British ministers, and meet with Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, to discuss this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Abuja and the transfer of my responsibilities as Chairman-in-Office. I will also address a function, hosted by the Australian Business in Europe organisation, which will focus on the Australia-UK economic and trade relationship.

While in London I will also chair a meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Democratic Union (IDU) and meet with the Centre for Policy Studies to discuss a range of social policy issues.

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