The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia


Media Release


D52 16 July 1996

AUSTRALIA-UNITED STATES MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (AUSMIN) SYDNEY


The annual Australia-United States Ministerial consultations (AUSMIN) will be held in Sydney on 26 and 27 July 1996. The talks, which are the primary means for high-level government-to-government contact between the two countries on foreign and security and defence policy, will be the first to be conducted with the United States since the new Australian government took office. The Foreign Minister, Mr Downer, and the Minister for Defence, Mr McLachlan, will lead the Australian delegation. The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, will also participate in the talks and host a dinner in honour of the US delegation.

The US delegation will be headed by the Secretary of State, Mr Warren Christopher, and the Secretary of Defense, Mr William Perry, and will also include the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Shalikashvili, and the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Command, Admiral Prueher.
Following recent visits to the United States by both Mr Downer and Mr McLachlan, AUSMIN will be an important opportunity for Australia to exchange views with senior levels of the Clinton Administration on the bilateral relationship as well as regional and global developments.

A key objective of AUSMIN will be for both countries to reaffirm their commitment to their alliance relationship. Australia's security relationship with the United States under ANZUS has, for over 40 years, been a key part of Australia's defence and contributed fundamentally to the security and stability of the Asia Pacific region. Throughout that time the Alliance has adjusted successfully to changing strategic circumstances. The security partnership continues to be important to both countries, reflecting the fundamental interests and objectives the two countries share.

At AUSMIN Ministers will be looking to strengthen Australia's partnership with the United States so it can be best placed to meet our common security challenges into the future, as well as contributing to the development of broader regional security.

A background media briefing on the issues likely to be raised at AUSMIN will be given to media by senior officials Mr Hugh White (Defence) and Mr Kim Jones (DFAT) at Room 1R3 in Parliament House at 2pm on Wednesday 24 July. The briefing will be relayed live by fibre optic link to the International Media Centre in Sydney for Sydney-based media.

For information on accreditation, please contact Ms Barbara Whiteman, DFAT Sydney International Media Centre, on (02) 770 7077 or 0412 111135.