Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne attended NATO Defence Ministers’ meetings and a series of bilateral engagements in Brussels on 8 and 9 June.
Minister Payne attended a session on the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and a meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
Minister Payne said the meetings were important for advancing Australia’s strategic interests in a forum of likeminded partners committed to upholding the rules-based global order.
“I am very pleased with the discussions at NATO Headquarters today. The Coalition is committed to ensuring sustained efforts to project stability and fight terrorism,” Minister Payne said.
“During the Defeat Daesh meeting I reiterated Australia’s commitment to ensuring the success of these combined efforts, and our significant efforts to combat violent extremism in Southeast Asia.”
During her visit to Belgium, Minister Payne met with Defence Ministers from Afghanistan, Canada, France, Iraq, Turkey and UAE to discuss NATO and Coalition security issues, as well as Australia’s interests in maintaining a stable and peaceful Indo Pacific.
“Our region is the focal point for global commerce and transit, and this is accompanied by significant defence and security risks, with global ramifications. We are determined in our efforts to shape a regional balance that evolves peacefully and in a manner that upholds global rules and standards,” Minister Payne said.
While at NATO Headquarters Minister Payne also met with Resolute Support Mission Commander and Commander US Forces Afghanistan, General John William Nicholson Jr. for discussions on operations in Afghanistan.
The meetings in Brussels formed part of a series of high-level visits for Minister Payne, including the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and bilateral meetings in Indonesia.