I visited the United States on Wednesday 14 September and Thursday 15 September for the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).
Together with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd and I marked the 60th Anniversary of the Australia United States Alliance, at the Presidio in San Francisco, where the ANZUS Treaty was signed in September 1951.
We endorsed a Joint Statement on Cyber declaring that cyber attacks could be invoked under the ANZUS Treaty, demonstrating the adaptability of our Alliance, 10 years on from when the Treaty was first formally activated in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks
We discussed progress on the United States Global Force Posture Review. Secretary Panetta and I are satisfied at the progress made by officials on working up options for Government consideration for our forces to work more closely together in the Asia Pacific.
We discussed the progress of international efforts in Afghanistan to transition to Afghan led security responsibility by 2014. I reiterated Australia’s commitment to training the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade in Uruzgan.
We acknowledged our growing cooperation in space and discussed important defence capability acquisitions, including the Joint Strike Fighter and Future Submarine.
I took delivery of the Royal Australian Air Force’s fifth C-17A Globemaster III aircraft at Boeing’s Long Beach production facility near Los Angeles. The addition of a fifth aircraft to the Air Force’s fleet will expand Australia’s capacity to deploy rapidly personnel and equipment all around the world.
I also met with industry representatives to discuss challenges that both Governments and industry face in cyber security. I underlined Australia’s commitment to countering threats to the cyber environment.
I laid a wreath at the USS San Francisco memorial in honour of the United States role in the Battle for Australia. This followed the commemoration in Australia on 7 September of the Battle for Australia Day.
I was accompanied by the new Secretary of Defence, Mr Duncan Lewis, and the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley.
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
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