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Australia-New Zealand Ministerial Talks

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, is in New Zealand for annual ministerial discussions with his counterpart, Mark Burton.

The talks are part of the Australia-New Zealand Closer Defence Relations Agreement (CDR) and will take place tomorrow in Wellington.

Issues for discussion include regional security, particularly the situations in Fiji and Solomon Islands, and the CDR itself.

"No strategic partnership in our region is closer than that between Australia and New Zealand," Mr Moore said.

"Both countries are conscious of the fact that our security is linked to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Australia and New Zealand are committed to ensuring that our defence forces can work together effectively in combined operations, to protect the vital security interests of both countries, our offshore territories and resources.

"Current operations on East Timor, Bougainville and the successful evacuation missions in the Solomon Islands demonstrate that our defence links have contemporary and practical relevance to the national interests of both countries," said Mr Moore.

During his visit to Wellington, Mr Moore will today meet with New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, and Foreign Minister, Phil Goff.

Mr Moore will hold a media conference at the Australian High Commission. Details appear below.

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