Statement on 8th United States – New Zealand Defense Policy Dialogue

U.S. Department of Defense

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, Dr. Ely Ratner, and Deputy Secretary for Defence Policy and Planning, Michael Swain, met virtually to conduct the 8th annual United States – New Zealand Defense Policy Dialogue, December 15 (Washington) and December 16 (Wellington).

The talks reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to strengthening bilateral defense cooperation to advance shared priorities and common objectives, and noted challenges to a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Officials reflected on a range of recent positive engagements between New Zealand and United States forces, including the USS Howard’s visit to Wellington, operations in the Western Pacific and South China Sea, and New Zealand’s deployment of a P-3K2 aircraft to support implementation of United Nations sanctions enforcement against North Korea.

They exchanged perspectives on the global and regional strategic environment, shared updates on each countries respective defense strategies, and agreed to pursue tangible and concrete initiatives to support resilience and security in the Pacific region, with a specific emphasis on collaboratively enhancing defence cooperation with Pacific Islands partners.

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