Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart

Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today.

“This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said.

“The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share in the Indo-Pacific region. This was also a chance to discuss more recent global security events in the Middle East.”

Besides meeting with Secretary Esper, Minister Mark visited the United Nations Headquarters, New York on Thursday, where he had meetings with Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo and Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

“These meetings allowed for discussions on United Nations policy and activities in the Indo-Pacific, as well as how New Zealand can make meaningful contributions in the contemporary peacekeeping environment,” Ron Mark said.

While in Washington, the Minister also met with the Secretary for Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, and participated in a roundtable at the Center for Climate and Security.

The Minister will next travel to Honolulu for his first visit to the United States Indo-Pacific Command. While there, Minister Mark will meet with Admiral Philip Davidson, Commander Indo-Pacific Command, to discuss the New Zealand-US defence relationship and Indo-Pacific regional security issues.