Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and U.S. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper discussed current and future cooperation between the United States and Australia during a meeting at the Pentagon.
Esper stressed the closeness of the relationship between the United States and Australia, noting the two countries have fought side by side since the Battle of Hamel in France during World War I.
"As our nations enter their second century of 'mateship,' we must continue to work together to protect the rules-based order that has enabled security and prosperity for so many decades," Esper said to Morrison before their meeting today.
The secretary thanked the prime minister for Australia's reliable security support for operations around the world, including the missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Australia is also going to work with the United States and other partners to ensure freedom of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz.
Morrison, who had met with President Donald J. Trump earlier today, said Australia and the United States share basic values and that his country is often with the United States because the two countries share objectives.
"As I was telling the president today, it is not because you asked us to do this or we asked you to do that. It is because we share the objectives, we have the alignment and we believe in the same things," he said. "That's what draws us together in all these places."
Australian Army Gen. Angus Campbell, the chief of Defense Force, and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also were part of the Pentagon meeting.