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Unlocking Australia's relationship with the Middle East
journal contributionposted on 2007-03-01, 00:00 authored by Fethi MansouriFethi Mansouri
Historically, Australia’s interests in the Middle East related primarily to its role in the Commonwealth imperial defence system which resulted in the deployment of Australian forces in the Middle East during both the First and Second World Wars. Similarly, the current involvement of Australian troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is driven by the country’s strategic alliance with the United States. However, Australia’s current involvement reflects a multifaceted relationship that spans economic, political and strategic spheres. Yet it is at the level of cultural and civilisational contacts that this relationship appears at its most vulnerable. This paper argues that a deeper understanding of this cultural dimension combined with a broader emphasis on good governance and human rights would be conducive to more robust ties in the longer term.