Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

September 10, 2011 13:00 ET

Minister MacKay to Meet With Counterparts in Australia and New Zealand

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2011) - The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Peter MacKay, will build on a strong bilateral defence relationship between Canada and our allies in Australia and New Zealand from September 11 to September 16, 2011. Minister MacKay will hold multiple bilateral meetings regarding shared interests in Asia-Pacific defence matters.

"This visit provides an opportunity to deepen Canada-Australia and Canada-New Zealand bilateral ties, to discuss operations, defence transformation, and to exchange views on common defence issues," says Minister MacKay. "Our ability to share best practices and lessons learned is especially vital in the shadow of the 10-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. I look forward to meeting with my counterparts and focusing on regional and international matters of operational and strategic importance."

Canada has excellent defence relations with both Australia and New Zealand, who are considered to be among the country's closest allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Canada maintains a solid foundation of defence cooperation with Australia, through exercises, training, academic exchanges, high-level visits, and military operations. New Zealand also contributes to the Asia-Pacific defence dynamics and constitutes an excellent training partner, particularly with our Royal Canadian Navy. Both countries have played prominent roles in Afghanistan.

In addition to bilateral meetings in New Zealand, Minister MacKay will officially represent the Government of Canada at Rugby World Cup 2011, where Canada is one of 20 teams competing in the tournament.

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