Bradford To Meet Secretary CohenDefence
Defence Minister Max Bradford is to meet US Defense Secretary William Cohen and Australian Defence Minister John Moore in Darwin tomorrow to discuss aspects of peackeeper deployments in East Timor.
Mr Bradford said he hoped to have a brief bilateral discussion with Secretary Cohen to discuss matters of mutual interest, including New Zealand's leasing of 28 F-16 aircraft from the United States.
It will be the second time Mr Bradford has met Secretary Cohen this year and the first since President Clinton announced during APEC that US forces would train with New Zealand for events surrounding East Timor.
On Thursday morning Mr Bradford will have a bilateral meeting with Mr Moore in Canberra.
The two Ministers are expected to discuss the implications of New Zealand increasing its peacekeeping commitment in East Timor to a full battalion strength force of about 800.
Mr Bradford said he also expected to discuss the effect of the East Timor peacekeeping operation on New Zealand and Australia's Close Defence Relationship (CDR).
He is due to return to New Zealand late on Thursday.