Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd will depart this evening for Indonesia and East Timor.
In Jakarta on Friday, Mr Rudd will meet with his counterpart, Dr Marty Natalegawa, as well as other senior ministers to discuss a range of shared security, political and economic interests.
He will discuss the live animal trade and ongoing initiatives by industry and the Australian and Indonesian governments to reopen supply chains according to improved animal welfare standards.
Indonesia is currently Chair of the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit (EAS). Mr Rudd will also discuss preparations for a meeting of EAS foreign ministers on 22 July in advance of the Leaders' summit on 19 November.
“This year is a critical year for developing the EAS agenda and for strengthening the EAS as a collective regional mechanism,” said Mr Rudd.
Mr Rudd will discuss practical ways to take forward EAS priorities, including improved regional mechanisms to help manage natural disasters, and the beginning of an EAS security agenda.
In East Timor, Mr Rudd will meet leaders of the East Timorese Government and will discuss Australia's and East Timor's existing development cooperation.
"East Timor has made remarkable strides since attaining its independence in 2002. National elections next year will mark a significant milestone. Australia is committed to supporting East Timor's continued development as a stable and prosperous nation," Mr Rudd said.
The Minister will meet Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police personnel serving in East Timor and helping to train East Timorese counterparts.
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