Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the Australia-US Alliance continues to go from strength to strength, following a successful visit to the United States.
Minister Payne travelled to Honolulu and Washington DC from 18-22 September, where she met with senior members of the Trump Administration, including US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
At their 20 September meeting in Washington DC, Minister Payne and Secretary Mattis discussed global security threats and challenges, as well as priorities for the Alliance.
“Australia and the US will continue to work together on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific, including countering the threat posed by Daesh in the Philippines," Minister Payne said.
Minister Payne and Secretary Mattis agreed on the need for ongoing diplomatic pressure to convince the DPRK to change its course away from provocation and undermining regional stability. Australia and the United States are of one mind on the need for the DPRK to cease its destabilising behaviour and that any attack by the DPRK would spell the end for the regime.
Minister Payne and Secretary Mattis discussed the situation in the South China Sea, ongoing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and the US Force Posture Initiatives in Australia. They also discussed the Joint Strike Fighter project and ballistic missile defence cooperation.
Minister Payne and Secretary Mattis agreed that their 20 September meeting, their sixth interaction this year, reflected both nations’ strong commitment to the Alliance.
While in the United States, the Minister also met with the US Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Richard Spencer; Director of National Intelligence, the Honorable Daniel Coats; Commander Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris; Commander US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers; Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Mr Robert Cardillo; and Senator Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Minister Payne also attended a Women in National Security reception hosted by the Australian Ambassador to Washington, the Honourable Joe Hockey, as part of Australia's "100 Years of Mateship" campaign that celebrates the enduring bond between Australia and the United States.