Australian Defense Minister leaves for U.S. on 10-day visit

CANBERRA, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon left for the United States on Sunday for a 10-day visitto discuss a variety of issues including security, defense and foreign policy interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

He will visit Hawaii, Texas, New York and Washington, a spokesman for Fitzgibbon said.

In Hawaii, the minister would attend roundtable discussions and meet with the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

In New York, he will meet UN officials to discuss Australia's relationship and roles in the global arena.

"The minister will also attend roundtable talks with a number of prominent think tanks and academics," the spokesman said.

In Washington, Fitzgibbon is scheduled to make several calls on senior members of the U.S. administration, including vice president Dick Cheney, secretary of defense Robert Gates and a number of congressmen.

"Discussions will be centered (on) the Australia-U.S. alliance, defense and strategic matters, and cooperation in promoting peace, security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.

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