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U.S. to have security talks with Australia

(Xinhua)

09:33, September 13, 2011

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will meet their counterparts from Australia this week in San Francisco for security talks, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Clinton and Panetta will attend the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, and the main topics on the agenda will include a discussion of challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, ways to improve and deepen alliance cooperation, and issues affecting global security, according to Little.

The meetings are scheduled from Wednesday to Friday, and attendees will celebrate the 60th anniversary of a security treaty signed in 1951 by the United States, Australia and New Zealand, known as ANZUS, added Little.

The treaty is a military alliance binding Australia and New Zealand, and separately, Australia and the United States to cooperate on defense matters. According to the U.S. State Department, the treaty is Australia's preeminent formal security treaty alliance.

Little said Clinton and Panetta will greet Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defense Minister Stephen Smith on Thursday in San Francisco, where the ANZUS treaty was signed.

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