British foreign secretary to visits Brisbane of Australia

19:03, January 17, 2011      

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday said he will visit Brisbane to inspect disaster relief operations during his stay in Australia.

Hague is in Australia with British Defense Secretary Liam Fox for the Australia-United Kingdom Ministerial Dialogue (AUKMIN) talks that will also be attended by Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defense Minister Stephen Smith.

According to Hague, he had accepted an invitation from Rudd to visit Brisbane on Wednesday, a day after the AUKMIN talks in Sydney.

"Although Britain and Australia are on other sides of the world, we remain cousins and the best of friends," Hague said in the statement released on Monday. "I carry with me the sympathy of the British people for the floods which have devastated Queensland in recent weeks."

During his visit, Hague will also have dinner with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott, and deliver two speeches in Sydney.

Meanwhile, Gillard will visit the floods affected towns in Victoria later on Monday.

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