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New Zealand resumes defence ties with Fiji

Press Release – New Zealand Government

New Zealand Defence Force co-operation with Fijis military forces will formally resume this weekend, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.New Zealand resumes defence ties with Fiji
New Zealand Defence Force co-operation with Fiji’s military forces will formally resume this weekend, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.

Mr Brownlee said that following Fiji’s elections in September last year, Cabinet decided to lift the remaining targeted measures which have been in place since 2006.

“Removing these last constraints allows the Defence Force to rebuild co-operation and engagement with its Fijian counterparts,” Mr Brownlee says.

The activity follows Minister Brownlee’s successful visit to Fiji in December last year.

To mark the occasion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion from No 5 Squadron will carry out a maritime surveillance patrol of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone on Saturday 31 January.

“This flight marks the first significant military contact between the two countries since bilateral defence ties were suspended in December 2006,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Such patrols assist our South West Pacific partners to manage marine resources and deter illegal and unauthorised activities within their EEZs.”

The inaugural patrol coincides with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of No 5 Squadron’s withdrawal from Laucala Bay in Fiji, from where the Squadron flew Catalina and later Sunderland flying boats from World War 2 onwards.
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