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Aussie defence minister in Fiji

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, November 02, 2017

AUSTRALIA'S Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne is in the country and is scheduled to meet with Fiji's National Security and Defence Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and Republic of Fiji Military Forces commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto in Nadi.

She is here to discuss Australia's growing bilateral defence relationship and shared regional and global security priorities with Fiji.

Ms Payne said her visit marked a significant milestone in the deepening bilateral defence relationship between the two countries.

In its 2016 Defence White Paper, Australia committed to increasing international engagement particularly with the countries of the South Pacific and South East Asia, to support the region's collective capacity to address common threats and security challenges.

"Fiji is a key regional security partner in the South Pacific and I am pleased that our defence relationship continues to go from strength-to-strength," Ms Payne said.

"Our defence forces are increasing their engagement, particularly in the areas of maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping.

"This visit is an opportunity to further improve close co-operation on important regional and global issues."

Ms Payne will also visit the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Blackrock base, where the army conducts pre-deployment training for its personnel for UN peacekeeping operations.

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