Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Perth, Australia, to participate in the annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations to discuss our alliance cooperation on matters including security, development, and trade. Upon arrivial on November 13, Secretary Clinton met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith, and Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett.
Following these talks, Secretary Clinton met with Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, who presented her with a Key to the City of Perth. The Secretary then delivered remarks at the launch of the Perth USAsia Centre, which focuses on Australia-Asia-U.S. strategic and economic concerns. Secretary Clinton spoke of the enduring relationship between the United States and Australia and the importance of our roles in the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific regions.
On November 14, Secretary Clinton joined U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Australian Foreign Minister Robert Carr, and Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith for a wreath-laying ceremony at the State War Memorial at Kings Park before beginning the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN). After the AUSMIN discussions, Secretaries Clinton and Panetta with their Australian counterparts held a joint press conference and released an AUSMIN 2012 Joint Communique.
In her remarks, Secretary Clinton said, "Our alliance is an anchor of peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific and around the world, forged in war but flourishing in peace." She continued, "From the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Islands, American and Australian navies protect the sea lanes through which much of the world's trade passes, and increasingly our cyber security experts collaborate to keep our networks safe and online commerce flowing freely. Our diplomats work side by side at regional organizations to address shared security challenges and hammer out new economic agreements, and we congratulate Australia upon becoming a new nonpermanent member of the Security Council. Our growing trade across the region, including our work together to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, binds our countries together, increases stability, and promotes security."
From Perth, Secretary Clinton traveled to Adelaide, where she met with Australian business leaders, including Australian Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson, on November 15. The Secretary also visited Techport Australia, Australia's largest and most advanced shipbuilding facility. Secretary Clinton said, "[T]his economic relationship is just as vital to both of our nations' continued strength as our defense partnership, because in today's world, power is increasingly measured and exercised in economic terms. So it is critical that Australia and the United States keep seeking every opportunity to increase trade and investment between us, to build economic partnerships, to share innovation and technological advances so we can continue not only to lead in the global economy, but more importantly to provide a rising standard of living to the hardworking people in both our countries."
You can view photos of Secretary Clinton in Australia here.