Australia is a strong partner to the United States and is making
valuable contributions to peace and security around the world,
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in Boston on October 13, 2015.
alliance remains strong, its reach is global, and our nations remain
a cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and in the
world," Carter said after two days of discussions for the 2015
Australia-U.S. ministerial consultations.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop as she arrives at the Boston Public Library during the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations in Boston, Oct. 13, 2015.
(DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)
the talks in Boston with Secretary of State John Kerry.
United States and Australia face a full spectrum of complex threats,
Carter said, citing as examples illegal trafficking, cybersecurity
and the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and
Australia has been with the United States since the start in
Afghanistan, and has expanded its critical role in Iraq and Syria to
"deliver ISIL a lasting defeat," Carter said, noting that Australian
pilots have recently begun flying in Syria.
This year marks
the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United
States and Australia, Kerry said.
friends are vital all the time, but they are especially welcome in
turbulent, challenging times," the top U.S. diplomat said. "That is
why the United States' partnership with Australia is so important."
Carter and Kerry spoke in a news conference with the visiting
Australian dignitaries, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense
Minister Marise Payne.
Russia to Discuss Air Safety Protocols
counter-ISIL fight will proceed unchanged, as we continue to urge
Russia to change its failing strategy," Carter said.
Russia must act professionally in the
skies over Syria and abide by basic safety procedures, he said. U.S.
and Russian officials will have another conversation on the topic
tomorrow, he added. In a statement after the news conference,
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said U.S. defense officials will
hold a third secure video conference tomorrow with Russian Defense
Ministry officials. "The focus of these discussions is on specific
safety protocols for aircrews flying over Syria. Those discussions
are progressing, but nothing has been finalized," Cook said.
"Even as we continue to disagree on Syria policy, we should be able
to at least agree on making sure our airmen are as safe as
possible," Carter said at the news conference.
crisis requires a political solution, Kerry said. "A military
component can help you get to that solution,” he added, “but Syria
is literally being destroyed in the process."
Deepening the Alliance
Carter said he and Payne signed a bilateral statement on defense
cooperation that includes increased intelligence sharing, improving
multilateral and defense industry engagement, and fine-tuning
The foundation of the U.S.-Australia
relationship is built on values of freedom, democracy and
rules-based order, Carter said. "Today, by deepening our alliance,
we renew those values and stand resolved to defend them together,"
Since 2013, the U.S. rotational force near Darwin
has expanded more than five-fold to 1,150 Marines, he said.
"Australia and America both want to sustain and renew an
Asia-Pacific regional security architecture where everyone rises and
everyone prospers," Carter said. "That's the essence of the U.S.
rebalance toward the region."
Tensions in South China Sea
The United States and
Australia share an interest in upholding basic international norms
such as freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce, Carter
"Together, our nations favor peaceful resolutions to
disputes and oppose coercion and infringement on well-established
international norms, especially in the face of rising tensions in
the East and South China Sea," he said.
The United States
will continue to "fly, sail and operate" wherever international law
allows, explaining that, the "South China Sea is not and will not be
"The United States stands ready to continue our role as a pivotal
security partner in this region, as we have done for over 70 years,"
Carter said. The strong U.S.-Australia defense partnership will
continue to "anchor regional stability and strengthen our capacity
in a variety of other areas, including disaster relief, and response
to humanitarian crises," he added.
By Lisa Ferdinando
DOD News / Defense Media Activity
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