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Defence Ministers to meet in Singapore.



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Media contacts Catherine Fitzpatrick (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7800 0405 351 245

Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 0408 498 664

www.defence.gov.au

MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR THE HON ROBERT HILL Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate

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Friday, 28 May 2004 98/2004

DEFENCE MINISTERS TO MEET IN SINGAPORE

Defence Minister Robert Hill will attend the third regional meeting of Defence Ministers in Singapore next week.

The Shangri-la Dialogue, sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies will bring together Defence ministers, officials and defence experts from the Asia-Pacific together with representatives from the United Kingdom and Europe. Ministers will discuss critical security issues, including:

• Regional force modernisation.

• Missile defence in the Asia-Pacific.

• Defence diplomacy in the region.

• The war against terrorism.

• Arms control and proliferation in the Asia-Pacific.

The conference will be held from June 4-6 with up to 20 countries represented, including Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand and the United States.

While at the conference, Senator Hill will take the opportunity to meet with his counterparts from countries across the region to discuss progress in our bilateral defence engagement, reconstruction and rehabilitation operations in Iraq and the common threat of terrorism.

Senator Hill said Australia was committed to working with our regional and global partners in a changing strategic environment.

“This annual conference has proven to be an excellent opportunity for Defence ministers in the region to work together in confronting regional security challenges such as terrorism and weapons of mass destruction,” Senator Hill said.

“We will again discuss how to respond to the enormous challenges of emerging security threats as well as how best to build and sustain defence forces and counter-terrorist responses that are able to tackle a range of contingencies head-on.”