Aust/NZ defence advisers pay courtesy visit to PM

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PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare today has received a courtesy visit from defence advisers from Australia and New Zealand at the Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.

The advisers are Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General Angus J Campbell and Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshall Kevin R Short.

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General Campbell speaking during the briefing thanked the Prime Minister for availing his time to meet with them.

General Campbell said the trilateral partnership between Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands continue to grow from strength to strength.

“Our efforts and plans are transparent, integrated and sustainable,” he said.

General Campbell emphasised that the relationship between the three countries is based on a community of nations that wants to live together peacefully in a peaceful region.

The Australian Defence Force Chief also conveyed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s sincere appreciation for the prayers, support and the desire to assist in the bushfire crisis.

“I also convey on behalf of the people of Australia especially Victoria for your generosity Mr Prime Minister in driving the fundraising event towards the cause,” he said.

Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshall Kevin R Short also reassured the Prime Minister of New Zealand’s support in the areas of development and security.

He said the collective efforts by New Zealand and Australia during the National General Elections last year was a success story.

“It shows the positive cooperation between our two countries assisting a friend,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare in response said Solomon Islanders do not need to be reminded about the success story of Australia, New Zealand and RAMSI.

He said people in this country truly appreciate the help the governments and people of Australia & New Zealand have rendered to Solomon Islands when it was on its knees.

“We are truly thankful and I believe this friendship will continue to be enhanced through our people to people connections and our bilateral relations,” he said. The Australian/ New Zealand delegation consists of Chief of the Australian Defence Force General Angus J Campbell plus two officials, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Air Marshall Kevin R Short plus two officials, the Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachie Strahan, New Zealand High Commissioner Georgina Roberts, Defence Attaché (Aust) CMDR Mark Northcote and Defence Attaché (NZ) LTCOL Frank Prendergast.

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