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Minister for Defence meets with Commander of the US Pacific Command and attends roundtable.



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Minister for Defence Media Mail List -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

Tuesday, 8 July 2008 078/2008

MINISTER FOR DEFENCE MEETS WITH COMMANDER OF THE US PACIFIC COMMAND AND ATTENDS ROUNDTABLE

On 7 July 2008, the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, met with the Commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy J. Keating, in Hawaii. The Minister and Admiral Keating met previously during the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Canberra in February 2008.

During the meeting, the Minister and Admiral Keating discussed the close relationship between the Australian Department of Defence and the US Pacific Command through a number of ongoing exercises and dialogues.

The Minister welcomed an open exchange on Australia and US defence engagement activities within the Asia Pacific region and discussions on how our independent programs could be best coordinated to promote stability and security throughout the region.

The Minister congratulated Admiral Keating on his personal efforts to ensure the delivery of US assistance and relief to Burma following Cyclone Nargis, noting the Australian Defence Force’s provision of critical air lift capability to the Australian Government Aid response, Operation Nargis.

As announced at AUSMIN in February, Australia and the United States, through Pacific command, are investing in developing an increased joint capability to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

During the Minister’s visit to Hawaii, he also attended roundtable discussions with senior academics at the East West Centre, a US Government funded cooperative education and research organisation established to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States.

From Hawaii, the Minister will travel to Texas to view facilities at Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for a coalition fleet of joint strike fighter aircraft.

Media Note: Vision will be fed to Parliament House bureaus. Still images are available at www.defence.gov.au/media/download and audio is available at www.defence.gov.au/media/download/audiogrb/2008/Jul/index.htm

Media contacts: Christian Taubenschlag (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0438 595 567 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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