Today I held meetings in Washington with senior Administration and Congress leaders, including insightful and productive discussions with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker.
We discussed the shared challenge of violent extremism, in particular the problem of our citizens travelling overseas to fight with terrorist organisations. Australia and the United States are united in our commitment to deep cooperation to overcome the menace of terrorism at home and abroad.
In these meetings I also welcomed renewed commitment by the United States to reducing trade barriers, which is critical to increasing jobs and prosperity, both in the United States and globally – an important aspect of President Obama’s State of the Union Address yesterday.
In my keynote address to the Brookings Institute’s Alliance 21 Project I discussed the US Alliance as a central pillar of Australia’s foreign policy and explored the enduring importance of the nation state and its contemporary challenges, including terrorism, transnational crime, corruption and cybercrime. I reiterated Australia’s strong commitment to playing its part in the Alliance – including in current operations in Iraq where we are working together to degrade and destroy Da’esh – the barbaric terrorist organisation.
I chaired an inspiring discussion on contemporary foreign policy challenges and the significant contribution that women make in this domain at a Women’s Foreign Policy Group roundtable.
I also met a number of students and congressional interns from Sydney University’s US Studies Centre, and other Universities who are the future custodians of the bilateral relationship with the United States.
This evening I joined Australian War Memorial Director Brendan Nelson to open the exhibition ‘A Centenary of Australian War Art’ at the Australian Embassy to mark 100 years since the Gallipoli landing. I was delighted to share the ANZAC spirit with members of Congress, the diplomatic corps, American friends and visitors to the Embassy.
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