The importance of a coordinated regional approach to security issues was discussed yesterday by the President of New Caledonia, Harold Martin, and Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney.
During his visit to New Caledonia Senator Feeney also met with France’s High Commissioner to New Caledonia, Albert Dupuy. In both meetings the Senator acknowledged the active and positive role that France plays in supporting regional security in the Pacific.
“Regional security is enhanced when nations work together to achieve outcomes which support and protect the people of the Pacific. Exercises such as CROIX DU SUD – a humanitarian and disaster relief exercise – and Operation KURU KURU – a maritime surveillance operation focussed on combat illegal fishing - increase regional interoperability, support sovereignty and maintain preparedness to deal with natural disasters or other contingencies,” Senator Feeney said.
“Both Australia and France share a common interest in supporting security and stability in the Pacific. Our nations continue to work closely together to improve our cooperation in key areas such as disaster relief and maritime surveillance.”
During his visit Senator Feeney also met with the Commander of the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC), Brigadier-General Jean François Parlanti. In the meeting Senator Feeney and Brigadier-General Parlanti confirmed each other’s intent to further strengthen bilateral defence engagement.
Senator Feeney’s visit coincided with the FANC-led biennial exercise CROIX DU SUD, a multilateral activity of nine nations that seeks to test and improve collective humanitarian assistance and disaster relief responses across the region.
In support of this exercise, Australia contributed 94 members from B Company 1RAR, 17 staff officers and HMAS Tobruk and her 193 crew.
Other participants in CROIX DU SUD 2012 included Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Following his visit to New Caledonia, Senator Feeney will visit Tonga, Samoa, and Tuvalu to discuss a range of regional security issues.
Jeffrey von Drehnen: 0477 348 476