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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 749-13
October 28, 2013

Joint Statement by United States Secretary of Defense and New Zealand Minister of Defense

The United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and New Zealand Minister of Defense Jonathan Coleman met today in Washington and acknowledged the significant accomplishments in expanding defense cooperation between the United States and New Zealand  since the Washington Declaration was signed last year.

During the meeting Secretary Hagel and Minister Coleman:

  • Noted that New Zealand and the United States have worked side-by-side in Afghanistan over the last ten years, including in the context of New Zealand’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province.
     
  • Confirmed that cooperation on peacekeeping would be expanded into capacity building activities in the Asia-Pacific region, commencing with New Zealand providing military instructors to U.S.-led Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative from 2014. 
     
  • Welcomed the increased cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Asia-Pacific.  The U.S.-led exercise, Pacific Partnership, and the New Zealand-led exercise, Tropic Twilight, demonstrated both countries’ abilities to work together in the interests of the region.
     
  • Noted the very successful meeting of Pacific Army chiefs from the Asia-Pacific, co-chaired by New Zealand and the United States in Auckland in September, which focused on working together as a region on peace operations in a United Nations context.  
     
  • Noted the importance of continued dialogue on the shared challenge of cyber-security.
     
  • Reviewed other achievements of the past year, including a productive set of exercise and training initiatives, high level visits in both directions, and the holding of the inaugural bilateral defense policy dialogue in Honolulu.
     
  • Looked ahead to further positive interactions in the near future, including military-to-military talks in November, the United States’ participation in Exercise Southern Katipo, New Zealand’s deployment of the frigate Te Mana in the anti-piracy Combined Maritime Forces in the Gulf of Aden, and
     
  • Discussed New Zealand’s participation in the upcoming Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the largest multilateral exercise in the world. Secretary Hagel notified Minister Coleman that he had authorized the New Zealand navy to dock at the U.S. naval port at Pearl Harbor during the exercise. 

Secretary Hagel and Minister Coleman agreed that the year’s achievements, and upcoming engagements, demonstrated the strength and vitality of the strong friendship between the two countries, and that this provided a strong platform for working closely together into the future.