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Defence Minister Mark Burton to visit Singapore

3 June 2004
Media Statement

Defence Minister Mark Burton to visit Singapore

Defence Minister Mark Burton leaves today for a six-day visit to Singapore, where he will attend the International Institute of Strategic Studies Asia Security Conference, a Five Power Defence Arrangements Ministerial meeting, and conduct an official bilateral visit with the Singaporean Minister of Defence.

Mark Burton says that the visit illustrates the strong relationship between New Zealand and Singapore.

“Singapore is one of New Zealand’s most important Defence partners. There is a high tempo of bilateral visits between our two countries, and our respective Defence Forces frequently take part in joint military exercises.

“Our Defence relationship is underpinned by the Five Powers Defence Arrangement, which also includes Australia, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia. Since its beginnings in 1971, the FPDA has made a significant contribution to the security of the Asia-Pacific region, and continues to evolve to meet the challenges posed by today’s global security environment.

“Last year, Defence Ministers identified the need to address a range of non-conventional threats, such as terrorism. Member countries have agreed on the need to incorporate terrorist scenarios into FPDA exercises, and we will be discussing these issues further at our Ministerial meeting this week. This is a useful and appropriate step forward at a time when such threats present a challenge to the FPDA, the wider region, and the international community as a whole.

“Other topics will include force modernisation in the Pacific, arms control, and intelligence.

Defence Ministers and Officials from around the Asia-Pacific region and beyond attend the Asia Security Conference. Mark Burton will participate in discussions on key security issues affecting the region and meet with representatives of countries with which New Zealand shares defence and security interests.

“With the fast-changing nature of the Asia-Pacific environment, this conference offers Defence Ministers, officials, and senior commentators and academics an excellent opportunity to share their perspectives,” said Mark Burton.

Mark Burton returns to New Zealand on 10 June.

ENDS

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