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Bradford Visits Troops In Darwin

Defence Minister Max Bradford is due to fly to Darwin late this afternoon to meet with New Zealand Army troops prior to their departure for Dili in East Timor.

The troops have spent several days training and becoming acclimatised in Darwin, prior to joining the United Nations-sanctioned multinational peacekeeping force in the East Timorese capital.

Mr Bradford is being accompanied on a commercial flight to Darwin by New Zealand Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Carey Adamson, and Defence Secretary Graham Fortune.

While in Darwin, Mr Bradford expects to meet with his counterpart, Australian Defence Minister John Moore to discuss the peacekeeping operation in East Timor, preparations, and others aspects of New Zealand and Australia’s bilateral defence relationship.

United States Defence Secretary William Cohen is also expected to be in Darwin.

Mr Bradford said he would be inviting Secretary Cohen to inspect aspects of the New Zealand deployment while he was in the region.

Mr Bradford will not travel to East Timor.

He is due to return to New Zealand late on Thursday.

ENDS

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