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Visit to Malaysia.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA084 25 July 2006

VISIT TO MALAYSIA

I will visit Malaysia from 26 to 28 July to particpate in the annual ASEAN Post Ministerial Conferences and ASEAN Regional Forum meeting. Australia became ASEAN's first Dialogue Partner over thirty years ago. Since then, our dialogue and cooperation has evolved into a strong, mature and diverse relationship. I will take the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with a number of my counterparts.

While in Kuala Lumpur I will attend an East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ lunch.

I will also participate in the fourth meeting of the South West Pacific Dialogue on 26 July. The meeting is hosted on this occasion by Indonesia and brings together foreign ministers of Australia, Indonesia, East Timor, New Zealand, the Phillipines and Papua New Guinea. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern with our nearest neighbours.

As the region’s principal security dialogue forum, the ARF meeting is an important event on Australia’s foreign policy calendar. This year, Ministers will address critical security challenges, including terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and maritime security. It will be important that the ARF reflects strong regional concern about the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs and continued failure to return to the Six-Party Talks.

ARF Ministers are expected to adopt statements on cooperation in fighting cyber attack and terrorist misuse of cyber-space, on a “people-centred” approach to counter-terrorism, and on disaster management and emergency response.

Media inquiries: Tony Parkinson (Ministerial) 0409 536 410 Matt Anderson (Departmental) 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/