Assistant Minister for Defence - Visit of NATO’s Chairman of the Military Committee

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The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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17 February 2015

Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert and NATO Chairman of the Military Committee, General Knud Bartels met today to discuss Australia’s strong and continuing links with NATO.

General Bartels was in Australia for a three day visit to thank Australia for its contribution to operations in Afghanistan and to discuss how Australia and NATO can work together in the future.

Mr Robert said Australia had developed strong ties with NATO after working alongside NATO members in Afghanistan.

“Our common objectives in Afghanistan have forged closer links than previously existed with NATO,” Mr Robert said.

“I am very pleased to welcome General Bartels on his first visit to Australia and to have the opportunity to discuss how Australia can continue to develop its relationship with NATO as a trusted and reliable partner. It is important that NATO members and partners continue to work together to remain prepared for future operational requirements.”

Minister Robert and General Bartels discussed a range of topics including current global security issues in Iraq, Afghanistan and the situation in Ukraine, as well as options for Australia’s future cooperation with NATO through the Enhanced Opportunities Partnership announced at the NATO Summit in September 2014.

“NATO’s offer of an Enhanced Opportunities Partnership to Australia demonstrates NATO’s clear intention to work with countries that share its values to maintain an international rules-based order that promotes freedom, democracy and the rule of law,” Mr Robert said.

While in Australia General Bartels also met with the Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin and Secretary of Defence, Mr Dennis Richardson and conducted a tour of Headquarters Joint Operations Command.

Media contacts:
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert's Office) (02) 6277 7730 or 0477 391 174
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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