New Zealand deputy prime minister fires back in Bob Carr spat

Defence Minister Richard Marles is attending the Quad Defence conference in Honolulu with his American, Japanese and Filipino counterparts.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said the leaders met to deepen their trilateral cooperation to strengthen security throughout the Indo-Pacific.

“Today’s meeting, the second of its kind, built on that momentum and it helped advance a vision that our four democracies share for a free and open Indo-Pacific. I’m proud of all that the United States has achieved with each of your countries, gentlemen, since President Biden took office,” Austin said.

Defence Minister Richard Marles meeting with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J.Austin

Defence Minister Richard Marles meeting with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J.Austin

“We also talked about the security landscape across the Indo-Pacific and discussed new initiatives to make the region more stable and secure. We’re looking to conduct more maritime exercises and activities among our four countries. We also want to pursue coordinated security assistance to the Philippines.”

Defence Minister Richard Marles echoed Austin, saying the challenge to the global rules-based order is happening across the world including in Ukraine, the East China Sea, South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea.

“Our four countries are utterly committed to asserting freedom of navigation, to asserting the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.

“Our alliance with the United States has been the cornerstone of Australia’s national security since World War II and today, the security relationship that we have with both Japan and the Philippines has never been closer.”

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