INDEPENDENT NEWS

Aust.: Howard on APEC and CHOGM

Published: Wed 16 Nov 2005 08:10 PM
Visit To Korea (APEC), Pakistan And Malta (CHOGM)
I will travel to Busan, Korea, on Wednesday 16 November to attend the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting. I will then travel to Pakistan for a bilateral visit and to Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 25-27 November.
The APEC leaders’ meeting in Busan will be an important opportunity for leaders to discuss the urgent need for progress in the World Trade Organisation Doha Round. I will work with leaders to build support for a strong leaders’ statement on the need for an ambitious conclusion to the Round.
My visit will also be an opportunity to discuss regional responses to the emerging threat of avian and pandemic influenza, following on from Australia’s hosting of the recent meeting of APEC disaster management coordinators in Brisbane. We will also build on the practical measures being taken in APEC to confront terrorism
I will visit Pakistan to discuss the latest developments in earthquake relief efforts and to explore the scope to provide further Australian assistance. Australia has already provided $14.6 million for earthquake relief and deployed a Defence medical unit and helicopter support team to Pakistan to provide health care to the affected region.
I look forward to meeting President Musharraf to discuss ways to develop our bilateral relationship. I will witness several agreements that will expand our political and commercial relationship, especially in the fields of agriculture and education.
Pakistan is a key ally for Australia in the war on terror, and has played a pivotal role in efforts to dismantle global terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda.
This is my first trip to Pakistan and it follows President Musharraf’s visit to Australia in June this year.
I will visit Malta to attend the 18th CHOGM on 25-27 November. The visit will provide an opportunity to advance Australia’s key international interests, including on trade, terrorism and good governance, in a Commonwealth context. CHOGM will also review the operations of the Commonwealth Secretariat and its associated organisations.

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