Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Bilateral Meeting with Australian Minister of Defence Marise Payne
Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Cmdr. Sarah Higgins provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met yesterday with Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne on the margins of the C-ISIS ministerial in Brussels. This was the first meeting between an Australian cabinet official and a member of the U.S. administration.
The secretary expressed his admiration of the high-performing troops of the Australian Armed Forces, and he thanked the minister for the Australian military and people for being long-term and great allies and friends of the United States. The two leaders discussed efforts to defeat ISIS in the Middle East and around the globe, as well as the importance of continued support to the government of Afghanistan. They also exchanged views on the Asia Pacific region, and reaffirmed their commitment to force posture initiatives in northern Australia.
Secretary Mattis and Minister Payne noted their commitment to the alliance and to further strengthening defense cooperation between the U.S. and Australia. Both leaders are looking forward to the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations to be hosted by Australia later this year.