Hillary Clinton wraps up 7-nation Asia-Pacific tour (2)

08:49, November 09, 2010      

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STRENGTHENING TIES WITH ALLIES IN ASIA-PACIFIC

During her three-day visit in Australia on Nov. 6-8, Clinton held talks with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. Welcoming Clinton, Rudd said that Clinton's visit would underline the enduring nature of the alliance between Australia and the United States, and progress the bilateral cooperation.

On Saturday, releasing the Melbourne Statement to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the U.S., Rudd said, "The Melbourne Statement reaffirms the fundamental commitment of both our nations to our enduring partnership and our resolve to continue working closely together to meet the challenges of the 21st century."

During her Australian stay, Clinton attended the annual Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) talks, which also involved U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith.

The AUSMIN meetings in Australia's Melbourne were set to formalize closer military ties between the two nations. It has focused on the U.S. Force Posture Review, Australia-U.S. defense trade co-operation treaty, space, cyber-security, and the war in Afghanistan.

But Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith said Australia welcomes the U.S. enhanced engagement in the Asia-Pacific, however, the U.S. Force Posture Review was yet to be concluded in the AUSMIN meeting.

"We will continue to be in consultation with the U.S. in the course of that force posture review, and in due course see what implications if any arises for Australia," Smith told reporters in Melbourne on Monday, adding that Australia welcomes ongoing operational arrangements with the U.S., either through joint facilities or to make more use of its military bases in Australia and give greater opportunity for joint training.

U.S. Defense Secretary Gates said the meeting had decided to set up a group to look at better ways of working together, as part of the U.S. global posture review.

Meanwhile, Clinton announced the U.S. Congress had passed the Australia-U.S. defense trade co-operation treaty, designed to facilitate export of U.S. defense equipment to Australia.


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(Editor:张茜)

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