Today marks 70 years since the signing of the ANZUS Treaty, a keystone of our relationship with Australia and an enduring force for stability in the wider region.
As we celebrate this significant milestone, we recognize the continuing importance of the U.S.-Australia Alliance and reaffirm our commitment to advance our shared values, democratic traditions and processes, global security, and prosperity for the next 70 years and beyond.
The ANZUS Treaty is a long-standing testament to the strength of our partnership and is as essential to the safety and prosperity of our countries today as it was 70 years ago. Our alliance is much more than a military pact. It helps underpin the stability of the region and democracy in the Indo-Pacific. It facilitates the movement of goods, services, and investment dollars, as well as ideas, research, technology, and people. It supports our joint efforts to advance human rights, promote the international rules-based order, assist our Pacific neighbors, and cooperate on issues of global concern, such as public health and climate change.
As Americans, we will never forget that the only time the collective defense article of the ANZUS Treaty was formally invoked was after September 11, 2001. The Australian parliament swiftly passed a bipartisan motion offering Australian support after the attacks on that terrible day, and Australia later provided military units, including special forces and naval ships, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In Afghanistan, Australia and the United States served side by side for twenty years as part of NATO-led multinational missions. As President Biden said, “We went in together and we’re leaving together, and now we’re working together to bring our people and our Afghan partners to safety.” We will always be grateful for the help and trust we find in Australia.
Our partnership is rooted in shared values and a shared vision. Whether we are combating the COVID-19 pandemic, reinvigorating our economies, or advancing cooperation in innovation and education, the United States and Australia are there for each other.
I look forward to welcoming Australian Foreign Minister Payne, Defence Minister Dutton and their colleagues to Washington, D.C. soon for our annual Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations. We value the opportunity to work together, to build off the 70 years of ANZUS that have passed, and to create the future that will be the next 70 years of our partnership.