Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and New Zealand Minister of Defence Jonathan Coleman signed the “Washington Declaration” at the Pentagon today to expand the defense relationship between the United States and New Zealand.
The declaration provides a framework for cooperation to focus, strengthen and expand the bilateral defense relationship. It promotes a common vision for defense cooperation in order to strengthen and expand practical bilateral cooperation.
The “Washington Declaration” opens up defense dialogues that include the exchange of information and strategic perspectives and increase understanding of defense policies. It reflects a shared commitment to a stable and peaceful Asia-Pacific region and common approaches to address the region’s defense and security issues, including contemporary non-traditional security challenges.
The partnership will include security cooperation in areas such as maritime security cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping support operations.
The “Washington Declaration” was signed a week after commemorative events took place in cities across New Zealand celebrating the 70th Anniversary of U.S. forces coming to the aid of New Zealand in World War II.
A copy of the “Washington Declaration” is available at http://www.defense.gov/news/WashingtonDeclaration.pdf .