Defence Minister Mark Mitchell will travel to Indonesia and Singapore this week to attend a range of meetings on defence and security matters.

Mr Mitchell will visit Indonesia from 30-31 May. While there he will meet his Defence counterpart General (Rtd) Ryamizard Ryacudu.

The two Ministers will sign a joint statement confirming the value both countries place on the bilateral defence relationship. As well as cooperating bilaterally, New Zealand and Indonesia work closely together in regional security groupings.

Mr Mitchell will continue on to Singapore to attend the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) Defence Ministers’ Meeting, and speak at the Shangri-La Dialogue later in the week.

“The FPDA forms our oldest and closest defence agreement in the region. New Zealand is committed to these arrangements, which in a time of regional uncertainty provide leadership and stability,” Mr Mitchell says.

Along with ministers and defence principals from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, Mr Mitchell will review the recently-completed FPDA exercise, Bersama Shield.

This exercise was held in Singapore and Malaysian waters and included the New Zealand Defence Force frigate HMNZS Te Kaha, tanker HMNZS Endeavour, a P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, and 283 Defence Force personnel.

At the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, Mr Mitchell will have the opportunity to meet with Defence Ministers from across the region and intends to speak about global threats and regional security.

“This speech provides the opportunity to showcase a New Zealand perspective on security issues, and reflect on the role of small states, like ours, in addressing global challenges,” Mr Mitchell says.

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