I’m delighted to travel to the United States next month to meet with President Donald J Trump and to attend the 75th Battle of the Coral Sea commemorations in New York, hosted by the America-Australia Association (AAA).
Australia and the United States are enduring allies. Our alliance has been forged over many decades, through times of war and times of peace, securing our nations’ freedom and peace and security in the world.
Next year will be one hundred years since Australian and American troops first fought side by side at the Battle of Hamel.
In the century since, our nations have become the closest allies, partners and friends united by shared democratic values and millions of people to people links.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, where Australian and American forces turned back the Japanese invasion fleet.
To commemorate this pivotal moment in our shared history, the AAA will host a celebration of our great alliance on the aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid. Also known as the Fighting 1, the Intrepid survived torpedo and kamikaze attacks during WWII. Now a museum on the banks of the Hudson River, it stands testimony to the bravery of US and Allied Forces.
The commemoration will honour all our veterans, including veterans of the Battle of the Coral Sea, and celebrate the ‘First 100 Years of Mateship’ between the United States and Australia, which has seen us fight side by side in every major military conflict since WWI.
Australia and the United States share the values of democracy, the rule of law and a commitment to peace, prosperity and security. Our forces continue to serve together in defence of those values in the Middle East where I have visited our troops and discussed the future of the region with US commanders and Defence Secretary James Mattis.
My meeting with President Trump will provide an opportunity to reaffirm our alliance and the United States’ engagement with the Asia-Pacific. It closely follows my visit to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and comes at a time when our region faces a serious threat from a reckless and dangerous regime in North Korea.
I look forward to discussing these and many other issues with President Trump in New York on 4 May.