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NEWS | Jan. 31, 2024

Readout of Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner's Meeting With Australia's First Assistant Secretary Bernard Philip

U.S. Department of Defense

Department of Defense Spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Meiners provided the following readout:

Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner met with Australia's First Assistant Secretary Bernard Philip at the Pentagon today to discuss growing defense and security cooperation between the United States and Australia.

The two officials emphasized their commitment to further deepen defense cooperation across several key priority areas for the U.S.-Australia alliance, including defense industrial base collaboration through Australia's Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, and bilateral force posture initiatives that focus on implementing last year's announcements of priority locations for build-out in Australia. They also discussed a range of regional security issues, including the importance of operational safety in the East and South China Seas, and they reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and across the Indo-Pacific region.

Both officials affirmed their countries' commitment to advancing a shared regional vision for peace and security in a free and open Indo-Pacific, including through enhanced cooperation with regional allies and partners like Japan, as the "Unbreakable Alliance" between the United States and Australia continues to strengthen.