Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Australian Minister of Defense Kevin Andrews in Singapore. The two met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, a major annual forum for key leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss security challenges and opportunities.
Secretary Carter thanked Minister Andrews for Australia’s ongoing contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan, emphasizing that Australian support of the Taji Building Partner Capacity mission will significantly bolster Iraq’s counter-ISIL operations.
The two leaders discussed a number of security challenges facing the Asia-Pacific, including China’s aggressive land reclamation in the South China Sea, and the importance of resolving all regional tensions through internationally recognized legal channels. They also discussed the shipment of improperly inactivated anthrax to Australia and agreed to keep Australian officials updated as the U.S. Government continues its investigation.
Secretary Carter and Minister Andrews look forward to meeting again at the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations later this year.