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Payne: Black Rock has potential

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, November 03, 2017

AUSTRALIAN Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne believes that Black Rock, Fiji's military training camp in Nadi, has enormous potential to become a hub for regional peacekeepers.

Ms Payne made the comments after a brief tour of Black Rock yesterday.

"Black Rock has enormous potential to become a regional hub for peacekeeping training," she said at a press conference.

"It is particularly important for Fiji itself.

"I congratulate the leadership at Black Rock. I have been given an insightful briefing from the officers running the camp."

She said the centre was an integral part of Fiji's peacekeeping efforts, which the country was playing an important role at.

"You make an extraordinary contribution in international peacekeeping.

"You have almost 800 members of the RFMF deployed at any one time.

"In anybody's language that is an extremely significant international contribution and I thank you for that.

"I congratulate members of the RFMF serving in peacekeeping missions abroad."

Ms Payne also explained the formalisation of Fiji and Australia's annual defence ministers discussion.

"We've agreed to formalise the annual Defence Minister meetings between Australia and Fiji which is an important way of maintaining contact and to look at issues confronting us in the region both in security and strategic terms."

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