7 April 2009
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon will hold AUSMIN talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Secretary of Defense Dr Robert Gates in Washington on 9 April.
AUSMIN (the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations) is the premier bilateral forum for the Australia – United States Alliance consultations on foreign policy, defence and strategic matters.
It is scheduled annually, with the venue alternating between Australia and the United States. The last AUSMIN was held in Canberra on 23 February 2008.
AUSMIN will build on Prime Minister Rudd’s recent discussions with President Obama, as well as Mr Smith’s meeting with Secretary Clinton in The Hague on 31 March, and Mr Fitzgibbon’s meeting with Secretary Gates in Poland on 20 February.
AUSMIN 2009, the first AUSMIN meeting to be held with the Obama Administration, reflects the enduring strategic importance of the Alliance.
Australia’s Alliance with the United States continues to be an indispensable part of Australia’s security and defence arrangements.
Australia works in close partnership with the United States to advance key shared security interests in the region and globally. Mr Smith and Mr Fitzgibbon’s discussions with Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates at AUSMIN will further advance this close cooperation.
The talks will include Australia and the United States shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. This follows closely from President Obama’s landmark speech on nuclear security in Prague and the DPRK's launch of a long-range missile, which Australia and the United States have condemned.
Both countries are committed to military and civilian efforts to stabilise Afghanistan and prevent it from again becoming an export base for international terrorism.
At AUSMIN, Australia and the United States will discuss our mutual commitment to Pakistan in recognition of its importance to international efforts to create a stable and viable Afghanistan and regional and international peace and security.
Mr Smith and Mr Fitzgibbon’s discussions with Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates at AUSMIN will further advance this close cooperation.
Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555