Australia and New Zealand Commit to Stronger Cooperation in the South Pacific

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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence

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28 February 2019

Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP hosted his New Zealand counterpart, Minister of Defence and Minister for Veterans, the Hon Ron Mark in Adelaide today for the annual Australia-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ANZDMM).

Minister Pyne said the discussion focused on enhancing Australian and New Zealand security collaboration across the South Pacific.

“Australia and New Zealand have a very close defence relationship, evidenced most recently in our closely coordinated efforts to support Papua New Guinea’s hosting of APEC 2018, and in our ongoing joint efforts to support the Republic of Fiji’s Military Force to conduct peacekeeping operations,” Minister Pyne said.

“Minister Mark and I agreed to further deepen our already close bilateral security cooperation and strengthen efforts to coordinate our engagement activities in the region.”

Australia and New Zealand have agreed on a Joint Statement on Defence Cooperation, which follows the principles outlined in the 2018 Joint Statement on Closer Defence Relations, and the region’s collective security agreement, the Boe Declaration.

“I’m pleased Minister Mark and I were able to agree to this Statement reaffirming our shared goal to support our Pacific partners and the security and prosperity of our region,” Minister Pyne said.

The Ministers also discussed their approaches to global security dynamics including operational deployments, increased investment and interoperability in defence capability and fostering stronger ties between Australian and New Zealand defence industry.

The ANZDMM follows the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting on 22 February this year, and builds on the Joint Statement released by the two Prime Ministers reaffirming the depth of the trans-Tasman defence alliance, and the fundamental importance of the South Pacific region to both countries.

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