Sydney, Aug 11 IANS | 2 months ago

The foreign and defence ministers of Australia and the US met Monday, ahead of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) that begin Tuesday.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston held talks with their US counterparts, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, reported Xinhua.

The Sydney AUSMIN event will see the signing of the Force Posture Agreement, which sets out the legal framework for the presence of US marines based in Darwin, and allows for the expansion of US military in Australia over the next 25 years.

"AUSMIN is the principal forum for talks on bilateral cooperation on foreign, defence and strategic policy matters between Australia and the United States. It is an opportunity to reaffirm our alliance and the depth and breadth of our relationship," Bishop said in a statement.

Bishop said the leaders would discuss ways to further enhance their work together, particularly in support of regional stability and security.

"Our discussions will explore opportunities to deepen our defence cooperation and interoperability between our two militaries," Bishop said.

This is the second AUSMIN with Kerry and Hagel, with the first meeting held in the United States last year in Washington.

(Posted on 11-08-2014)

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