U.S. secretary of state to visit Australia for bilateral talks next week: Aussie FM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-31 13:44:52|Editor: xuxin

CANBERRA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will visit Australia from June 5 to 6 to participate in the 2017 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced on Wednesday.

Confirming the details of the AUSMIN at a press conference, Bishop said the discussions would involve improving the bilateral alliance between the two countries, while it would also provide an opportunity for the leaders to discuss pressing regional issues.

"Next Monday, the annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial Dialogue (Consultations) will take place in Sydney, and we will welcome, for the first time under the new (Donald) Trump administration, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence James Mattis for a dialogue with (Australia's Defence Minister) Marise Payne and myself on the challenges which face our region," Bishop told the press.

"(We will also discuss) our bilateral alliance with the United States and ways in which we can work together to improve the peace, stability and prosperity of our two nations and our region."

Through a statement released by her office later on Wednesday, Bishop said AUSMIN was the "premier forum for Australia-U.S. bilateral consultations on foreign affairs, defence and strategic matters." She said the 2017 meeting would be one of extra importance because it involved the new Trump administration.

"This will be the first AUSMIN with the new U.S. Administration, and will build on our strong, dynamic bilateral relationship and our steadfast Alliance, which began with the signing of the ANZUS treaty in 1951," Bishop said.

"During the meeting we will discuss our shared commitment to ensuring global peace and stability, and our mutual strategic priorities including North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and defeating Islamic State (IS). Australia-U.S. cooperation and collaboration in the Pacific and Southeast Asia will also be a key focus."

KEY WORDS: Australia