Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles was hosted by his American counterpart, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon. Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of the Australia-United States alliance and their shared resolve to preserve the rules based global order that underpins our security and prosperity.

“The alliance is founded on an enduring friendship, common vision, and shared experience over seven decades,” Marles said. “This common vision includes a determination to deter aggression, counter coercion and ensure the rule of law, not the rule of power, governs conduct between states. Secretary Austin and I are committed to ensuring the Alliance evolves to meet the challenges of a tougher strategic environment, including through increasing our technology and capability cooperation and our ambitious force posture plans.”

Both leaders also acknowledged the critical importance of enhancing their diplomatic, economic and security investments in the Indo‑Pacific, including addressing the threat of climate change. “Secretary Austin and I both recognise the importance of working closely with our allies and partners to bolster the resilience of the Indo-Pacific region and its institutions,” Marles said. “We also reaffirmed our commitment to the AUKUS trilateral partnership, whereby I highlighted the Australian Government’s steadfast resolve to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and ensure Australia will be a responsible steward of nuclear technology.”

“For decades, our two great democracies have been bound together by shared history, our deep friendship and our common values,” Austin said. “And the United States and Australia are both standing strong to counter Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.”

Austin chairs the Ukraine Defense Contact Group and Australia is a member of that group channeling materials to Ukraine to help defend itself. “I’m grateful for Australia’s leadership in supporting the Ukrainian people as they fight for their lives, and our freedom and our democracy,” he said.

Marles is in the US for his first visit as deputy prime minister and minister for defence.

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