Remarks With Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
December 15, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a great pleasure for me once again to welcome Kevin Rudd here to the State Department. I think it goes pretty much without saying that Kevin and I work very closely together on a range of issues, and I am very appreciative of the wonderful visit that President Obama had just last month. And so once again we’ll have a chance to discuss all the matters that we are working on together.

FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: Thanks very much, Secretary. This is the 60th year of the Australia-U.S. alliance. It’s an alliance which means a lot to both countries. But we are working in broader fields as well, (inaudible) fellow members of the G-20 at a time of significant and continuing financial crisis in Europe. And we are working now together in the East Asia Summit. The President participated for the first time in that meeting in Indonesia just recently. But beyond that as well, we are working very closely together.

The President’s visit to Australia was a first-class visit and a reaffirmation of the United States presence in Asia and the Pacific. And if I could say this about the Secretary of State, her commitment to our region has been absolutely clear-cut from the time that she was sworn in as the Secretary. She’s been to the region many times, and the President’s visit reaffirmed that as well. And we look forward today to talking about how we work in shaping the Asia Pacific in the future, including with our friends in China.

So I thank you, Secretary, for having me again in Washington, and for the hospitality which I always receive when I’m here.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Kevin. Thank you all.

PRN: 2011/2154