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AUS Defence Minisiter Visits Indonesia, East Timor

The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP Minister for Defence

Wednesday, 17 September 2008 124/2008

Minister For Defence Visits Indonesia And East Timor

The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, will visit Indonesia and East Timor from 17 to 19 September to meet with his counterparts and visit Australian Defence Personnel deployed to East Timor.

This will be the Minister’s first trip to Indonesia. He will meet with his counterpart, Dr Juwono Sudarsono, for the second time this year.

“I’m looking forward to meeting again with Minister Sudarsono, following his visit to Australia in March earlier this year, to discuss progress in cooperation initiatives and identify engagement opportunities to continue to drive the relationship forward,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

”The Australia-Indonesia Defence relationship, like the broader bilateral relationship, reflects our shared interests in regional security and continues to strengthen.”

The Ministers will discuss progress on a range of initiatives developed since they last met including enhanced education and training cooperation, strategic assistance to the Indonesian Department of Defence and industry and science engagement.

“Defence cooperation between Australia and Indonesia contributes directly to the security and stability of the region. My discussions with Dr Sudarsono will ensure that we have a shared understanding of our security priorities to enable us to best use defence resources in the most efficient and effective way to achieve this goal.”

The Minister will then travel to East Timor for his first visit to Dili. He will meet with senior East Timor officials and visit the East Timor Defence Forces (F-FDTL) training centre at Metinano, including the Australian Defence Cooperation Program Specialist Training Wing currently under construction.

ENDS

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