Minister for Defence Marise Payne attended a session of the the NATO Defence Ministers Meeting to discuss progress of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
Minister Payne said Australia reaffirmed its commitment to NATO’s efforts to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, to help secure Afghanistan and the global fight against terrorism.
During an introductory meeting with Afghanistan’s acting Minister for Defense Major General Tariq Shah Bahramee, Minister Payne highlighted Australia’s support for the Resolute Support mission.
"The government remains committed to enhancing the security of Afghanistan, which is why we agreed to increase the Australian Defence Force contribution to the Resolute Support mission from around 270 personnel to around 300 personnel," Minister Payne said.
"This commitment comes on top of Australia’s annual contribution of US$100 million towards Afghan security sector sustainment, which will continue until at least 2020."
While in Brussels, Minister Payne also met with defence ministers from France, Ukraine and Turkey, and the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. She also signed the International Partnership and Cooperation Program between Australia and NATO.
Minister Payne's meeting came just days after Attorney-General George Brandis and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton travelled to Ottawa for meetings with Five Eyes counterparts, where cyber terrorism was a hot topic of conversation.
Brandis and Minister Dutton attended the Five Country Ministerial on national security. Brandis also attend the Quintet Meeting of Attorneys-General.
"As the Prime Minister said ... the use by terrorists of cyber space is an issue of critical concern to intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Australia will lead the discussion of ways to address this issue; in particular the involvement of industry in thwarting the encryption of terrorist messaging," Brandis said.
"We all share the global challenges of terrorism, foreign fighters and protecting our borders."
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