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Defence Minister to meet with US Defense Secretary.



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Media contacts Sascha Meldrum (Senator Hill) +61 409 034 241

Defence Media Liaison +61 408 498 664

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, 4 June 2004 106/2004

DEFENCE MINISTER TO MEET WITH US DEFENSE SECRETARY

Defence Minister Robert Hill will meet with United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore tomorrow.

The dialogue brings together Defence Ministers, officials and experts from the Asia-Pacific together with representatives from the United Kingdom and Europe to discuss security issues.

Senator Hill said the meeting with Secretary Rumsfeld provided an opportunity to discuss the progress of reconstruction and rehabilitation operations in Iraq, next month’s transition of authority to the Iraqi interim government and progress in the global war on terrorism.

“Our meeting provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the way ahead for coalition efforts in rebuilding Iraq and countering the scourge of terrorism,” Senator Hill said.

“It is also timely in the lead up to the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) next month to discuss joint initiatives that will enhance our ability to work together now and in the future. We will examine progress on key initiatives to enhance our security cooperation with the United States including a potential joint combined training centre and cooperation on missile defence.”

MEDIA NOTE:

Senator Hill and Secretary Rumsfeld will be available for a brief interview at 8.30am (local time) following their meeting at the Pink Lotus Room, Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.