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Commander, U.S. Pacific Command Meets With New Zealand Minister of Defence

By U.S. PACOM Immediate Release | U.S. Pacific Command, Public Affairs Communication and Outreach | July 22, 2016

U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson Cmdr. Dave Benham provided the following readout:

Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), met today with New Zealand Minister of Defence Gerry Brownlee at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.

After Adm. Harris welcomed Minister Brownlee with an honors ceremony at his headquarters, the two leaders sat down and exchanged views on a wide range of security challenges.

Adm. Harris and Minister Brownlee discussed the Bilateral Defense Dialogue, which USPACOM will host in September. The meeting demonstrates the strategic partnership between USPACOM and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

Minister Brownlee and Adm. Harris welcomed the July 21 announcement by Prime Minister John Key and Vice President Joe Biden that a U.S. Navy ship will conduct a November port visit in New Zealand as part of the 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy. The New Zealand invitation for a U.S. port visit demonstrates the progress of the mutually beneficial, bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The announcement comes as the New Zealand frigate HMNZS Te Kaha is visiting Hawaii as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the largest maritime exercise in the world. Adm. Harris thanked Minister Brownlee for the NZDF’s contributions to the 26-nation RIMPAC exercise and emphasized the importance of multinational maritime security cooperation in support of the rules-based international order.

Adm. Harris praised New Zealand’s counter-ISIL efforts. Both leaders emphasized the importance to continue building partner capacity in Iraq and Afghanistan and of New Zealand’s participation in the September 2016 Chief of Defense Conference – an important venue to build the relationships that will underpin security throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Both leaders expressed their commitment to a strong partnership and said they look forward to working together in the future to promote stability, prosperity and peace in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

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