Australia and Fiji will send a joint United Nations peacekeeping mission to a disputed region in the Middle East as soon as next week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said over the weekend.
The co-deployment of the troops to a territory on the border area between Israel and Syria is unrelated to "current events in north-eastern Syria," the Australian defence ministry said in a statement.
"They're going to be going there next week," Morrison was cited by Australian media as saying during his second visit to Fiji and his third official meeting with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama this year. "Our Australians are going over there, training them, supporting them."
"We are living in a world of transition where a shifting of power dynamics is taking place," Morrison said ahead of his Saturday visit to the Blackrock military base in Fiji.
"Which means our friendship and partnership with countries like Fiji, in our own backyard, is even more important."
Earlier this year, Australia signed a deal with the Fijian government on the planned upgrade of the Blackrock police and peacekeeper training camp, outbidding China. While the value of the investment has not been disclosed, the base is expected to inject AU$27 million to the Fijian economy.
"This engagement here, particularly with Fiji, but also with so many nations around the Pacific, and particularly that security engagement that we're having here, is all about keeping the whole region safe and stable, and secure," Morrison said in televised remarks on Saturday.