Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
State Reception Center
November 14, 2012
Well, thank you, Foreign Minister Carr and Defense Minister Smith for welcoming us and our delegation for this AUSMIN meeting here in Perth. We are delighted to have this opportunity once again in this setting to exchange views on a broad range of issues.
Let me begin by congratulating Australia on your election to the United Nations Security Council. That achievement opens the door to even closer cooperation between us and lends an additional dimension to our AUSMIN agenda.
We will be speaking, of course, about bilateral issues, but also on matters where Australia’s voice has been important, but now Australia’s membership on the Security Council will be essential, for example on Iran, where the international community remains firm and united in our efforts to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and on Syria, where we need to stand together now to increase pressure on the Assad regime and expand humanitarian assistance to people in need.
We will, of course, be discussing the important work we do together in Afghanistan. After great sacrifices, ISAF is on track to transition responsibility for security to the Afghan Government in 2014 and bring our combat mission to a close. But that will not mark the end of our commitment to the people of Afghanistan, because we will be discussing ways in the next months that the United States and Australia will have to work closely together with international partners to support Afghanistan’s continued progress so that it never again becomes a staging ground for international terrorism. MORE