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NZ, Australian defense chiefs in co-op talks

Updated: 2013-12-18 11:33
( Xinhua)

WELLINGTON - The defense ministers of New Zealand and Australia met Wednesday in Auckland to discuss security issues in the Asia-Pacific region and measures to develop defense cooperation.

New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said he was looking forward to working closely with Australian counterpart David Johnston, who took up his post in September.

"Following the release of the Australia-New Zealand Defence Relationship Framework Review in 2012, both countries agreed to a regular timetable of senior engagement by ministers, military commanders and officials. At the same time, we are looking to continually build on the literally hundreds of trans-Tasman defense engagements that occur each year," Coleman said in a statement.

Examples of cooperation included the New Zealand Navy's deployment of three personnel on an Australian ship on counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the participation of an Australian contingent in last month's Exercise Southern Katipo, New Zealand's largest ever multinational exercise.

"Earlier this year, with the closedown of our missions in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands, we worked together to extract equipment. The relationship is one of practical, two-way co-operation," said Coleman.

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