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Goff to Attend South West Pacific Dialogue Meeting

Goff to attend inaugural meeting of South West Pacific Dialogue

Foreign Minister Phil Goff leaves for Indonesia today to attend the inaugural Ministerial meeting of the South West Pacific Dialogue (SWDP).

The Foreign Ministers of New Zealand, Indonesia, Australia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines will attend the forum to be held in the central Javanese city of Yogyakarta on 4-5 October.

“The SWPD arose out of an Indonesian proposal for this grouping of countries to meet on a regular basis to discuss a wide variety of issues.

“I welcome Indonesia’s interest in developing greater regional links in the South Pacific.

“The dialogue will focus on issues of common concern such as economic development and transnational crime, including terrorism, political and economic stability, fishing and development issues.

“The forum will build on existing areas of cooperation such as combating people smuggling and trafficking. New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia in particular work closely on this problem.

“Such a grouping of nations could prove valuable in furthering economic and diplomatic links in this sub-region and in strengthening New Zealand’s relationship with these countries.

“The forum will also provide an opportunity for the world’s newest nation East Timor to continue its integration into the region as a country in its own right,” Mr Goff said.

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