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Joint NZ/Australian Defence Announcement

6 July 2001

Joint Statement By
Australian Defence Minister The Hon Peter Reith MP
New Zealand Defence Minister The Hon Mark Burton MP

Defence Minister Peter Reith met today in Melbourne with the New Zealand Minister of Defence, the Hon Mark Burton, for the annual Defence Ministerial Talks.

Peter Reith said, "The meeting was amicable, frank and productive. We discussed regional security issues, the Five Power Defence Arrangement and bilateral Defence cooperation measures."

"We discussed our mutual involvement in defence operations in East Timor, Bougainville and the Solomon Islands which reflect the importance our countries place on the security and stability of South East Asia and the closer region."

Both New Zealand and Australia are working to ten year Defence plans.

Mark Burton said, "We have agreed that we continue to be committed to achieving the highest levels of interoperability possible between the New Zealand Defence Force and the Australian Defence Force whilst acknowledging the need for each country to first meet its own defence priorities."

"To this end existing programs and methods of Defence cooperation will continue to be subject to ongoing review, consistent with the implementation of Australian and New Zealand defence policies, in order to achieve the full potential of the Closer Defence Relations agreement."

The next Ministerial meeting is scheduled for June next year.


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