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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 351-13
May 21, 2013

Readout of Secretary Hagel’s Meeting with Australian Minister for Defense Stephen Smith

            Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout: 

            “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosted the Australian Minister for Defence Stephen Smith for a working lunch at the Pentagon this afternoon. 

            “Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Smith for his condolences on the loss of life from the devastating tornado in Moore, Okla. 

            “The two leaders discussed the progress and cooperation between the United States and Australia on a number of fronts including the rotation of U.S. forces to Australia, cooperation in space and cyberspace and our shared commitment to investing in critical defense capabilities. Secretary Hagel commended the progress to date of the rotation of U.S. Marines to Australia, noting that the second company-sized rotation of Marines arrived in Darwin recently and will train with their Australian counterparts over the next six months. 

            “Secretary Hagel also thanked Minister Smith for Australia’s significant commitment to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan. 

            “Secretary Hagel emphasized the enduring importance the United States places on the Asia-Pacific region and assured Minister Smith of American commitment to the Asia-Pacific and to the security of our allies and partners.  

            “The two leaders plan to meet again on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore next month.”