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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper’s Phone Call With New Zealand Minister for Defence Ron Mark

Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper spoke today with the New Zealand Minister for Defence Ron Mark, the two leaders reaffirmed the strength of the U.S. –NZL relationship, highlighted respective global security contributions, and discussed the challenging geostrategic operating environment in the Indo-Pacific region. Secretary Esper and Minister Mark agreed to closely coordinate and synchronize on COVID-19 response efforts in the Pacific Island Countries and throughout the region in concert with other like-minded nations. Both leaders emphasized the importance of upholding international rules and norms and their commitment to defending a free and open Indo-Pacific region.