Secretary Clinton Meets With Australian Foreign Minister Rudd

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 3, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd at the Department of State on May 2, 2011. After their meeting, Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Rudd discussed how the United States and Australia are working together on a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including fighting against al-Qaida and its allies; ending violence against women and girls; and providing security through the Australia-United States Ministerial.

Secretary Clinton said, "Before I speak about the important work that we are doing between the United States and Australia on so many fronts, I just want to state again, as President Obama announced to the nation, that a murderer is dead and justice has been done. America -- and the world -- is safer and more secure because of it. We thank all of our partners around the world, including Pakistan, who have helped us put unprecedented pressure on al-Qaida and its leadership for the murders of so many individuals, most of whom over the last years have been Muslim, in countries not only in the United States and Europe but as far away as Bali, Indonesia where many Australians were murdered. While this is an important and necessary milestone, we will continue to press forward.

"The minister and I discussed how important it was for us to bolster our partnerships and our networks of cooperation as we continue to fight against al-Qaida and its allies. In particular, in Afghanistan we are committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan against the violence that is sown by the extremists, and we hope that the Taliban will take note of this and begin seriously to consider alternatives to continuing violence. And we remain committed to supporting the people and Government of Pakistan as they defend their own democracy against extremism. So I think that our resolve, our reach, and our partnerships and alliances -- including the one we share with Australia -- create a strong foundation on which we are defending freedom and pursuing justice on behalf of people everywhere around the world who seek a better life.

"Australia and the United States are fully committed partners on a range of critical bilateral, regional, and global issues. We are working to expand security, of course, but also prosperity for the many. We want to end violence against all people, but particularly women and girls; there's always a full agenda. I thanked the Foreign Minister for Australia's many contributions toward peace and humanitarian relief. We have a shared commitment to a peaceful resolution in Syria. We are pleased to work together at the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the ongoing crackdown there and dispatch a fact-finding mission.

"Australia is also the world's third largest non-military contributor to Libya, recently increasing its humanitarian assistance to $25 million and offering a passenger ship to evacuate up to 1,000 people escaping the bloodshed that Qadhafi and his forces are inflicting.

"And of course, Australia remains the biggest non-NATO contributor, from troops to aid relief, toward our joint efforts in Afghanistan, and the Australian people have been so generous and quick to respond to the needs of everyone from New Zealand to Japan, because of devastating natural disasters.

"Our security alliance, which has helped to underwrite stability for 60 years in the Asia-Pacific, including through the annual Australia-United States Ministerial, known as AUSMIN, discusses a range of important security issues including cybersecurity and counterterrorism. And both of us understand the benefits of deeper economic integration and fair trade. Minister Rudd was very influential in helping us to work toward a greater, more relevant involvement in the Pacific-Asian institutions, such as joining the East Asian Summit. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is exploring ways to expand opportunity, is critical, and APEC and ASEAN are two other organizations where we work together.

"We also appreciate the close consultation we have with respect to China. Our Strategic and Economic Dialogue will be held with China next week here in Washington, and Australia has a very strong set of policies that it is pursuing to ensure that China is a positive presence in the region.

"So there is so much else that we consult on and work on, and I'm very grateful to have this time to catch up, on today of all days, with Kevin. So thank you for your partnership and friendship."

You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.



South Korea
May 4, 2011

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