WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (KUNA) -- Australian prime minister and US secretary of defense discussed Wednesday how the enhanced Australian, UK and US security partnership (AUKUS) will move forward.
"The new trilateral relationship is a testament to the strength, resilience and foresight of our relationship," Secretary Lloyd J. Austin said at the beginning of his meeting with Premier Scott Morrison at the Pentagon.
The Australian prime minister, who met with President Joe Biden Tuesday, is in Washington for a meeting of the quad partnership of India, Japan, Australia and the United States.
"Today, our alignment is stronger than ever, including seeing the region's challenges through a similar lens and sharing the same sense of urgency," Austin said.
He emphasized that the two allies will continue to cooperate closely on force posture, strategic capabilities, regional alignment and military operations.
"And all of this common work strengthens our ability to deter threats [for a] free and open Indo-Pacific," he argued.
For his part, Morrison said the new trilateral partnership adds to the partnerships that exist within the region, whether it's the quad partnerships and relationships, or the wonderful relationships with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in.
"But importantly, [AUKUS builds on] the relationships with NATO, and relationships with our European partners, and bringing that focus to the Indo-Pacific," he said. (end) asj.ibi