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U.S. Department of State
96/07/27 Joint U.S.-Australia Press Conference, Australia
Office of the Spokesan



                        U.S. Department of State 
                         Office of the Spokesman 
 
                           (Sydney, Australia) 
__________________________________________________________________ 
For Immediate Release                                July 29, 1996 
 
 
               JOINT US-AUSTRALIAN PRESS CONFERENCE WITH 
                SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER, 
              AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ALEXANDER DOWNER, 
                 SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM PERRY, AND 
                AUSTRALIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IAN MCLACHLAN 
                       AT CLOSE OF AUSMIN TALKS 
 
                     HMAS Watson, Sydney, Australia 
                             July 27, 1996 
 
 
AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DOWNER:  Good morning.  We have been 
delighted to host not only the United States Secretary of State and 
Secretary of Defense, but also the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
and the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific.  The inclusion of these four 
together in the delegation means that it is the most significant 
delegation to have taken part in AUSMIN in Australia.  This demonstrates 
the importance both sides are attaching to the relationship.   
 
From the perspective of the Australian Government, this meeting has been 
an important step forward in reinvigorating our long-standing and much 
valued bilateral relationship.  A key outcome for both countries from 
this meeting has been the strong reaffirmation of the centrality of the 
alliance relationship to Australia's foreign and security policy.  We 
have made some important progress at this AUSMIN meeting in advancing 
our common agenda.  We've made decisions on military training, the use 
of the joint facilities, and we have shared our perspectives and 
analysis with one another on the regional security outlook.  Most 
importantly, we've encapsulated new die value of the Australia-United States alliance 
relationship in my recent meetings with key regional partners, including 
Indonesia and China, when I briefed them on the AUSMIN talks during my 
recent visit to Jakarta.  I impressed upon them that a stronger 
Australia-U.S. relationship not only brought great benefits to both our 
countries but also to the region as a whole.  This alliance is an 
integral element of the mutually reinforcing web of security 
arrangements in the region.  These linkages ensure the continuation of 
strong economic growth in the region.  Australia and the United States 
have a long record of close cooperation in fostering region wide 
economic initiatives such as APEC.  We have also worked closely in the 
World Trade Organization and its predecessor the GATT in bringing about 
the successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round.  And, we are committed 
to maintaining the momentum for further trade liberalization.   
 
As with the best of friends, we have our differences; for example, we 
have continuing concerns with U.S. agricultural export subsidies, 
although that situation is improving.  But these differences do not 
detract from the vast array of issues where we have an identity of 
interests.  On global security issues, we have common approaches to a 
wide range of areas such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a ban on 
anti-personnel land mines and weapons of non-proliferation, and we share 
a commitment to conflict prevention mechanisms such as the ASEAN 
Regional Forum.  We also recognize that non-military threats to global 
security are also important and need to be addressed, such as the spread 
of illicit narcotics.   
 
In the 46 years since the signing of the ANZUS Treaty, the Australia-
United States alliance relationship has stood the test of time.  The new 
security declaration we have agreed on at this meeting  not only 
reaffirms our long-standing relationship but lays important groundwork 
for its future development.  I would like to conclude by thanking 
Secretary Christopher and Secretary Perry for the very valuable input 
they made to the meeting and for the close cooperation that has 
developed between Ian McLachlan and me on the one hand and the two 
United States cabinet members on the other.  We have developed a very 
good, personal relationship and had an extremely constructive meeting.  
Thank you. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good morning.  It gives me a lot of pleasure to 
be here at the conclusion of this year's U.S.-Australian Ministerial.  
The Minister has given such a good summary of the topics we discussed 
that I can shorten my remarks and telescope them considerably.  As he 
said, the joint security declaration we have issued today affirms the 
validity and importance of our 45 year-old alliance and especially 
underscores its validity in the post-Cold War era.  As part of that 
effort, we have agreed to strengthen the defense cooperation which is 
the bedrock of our alliance; we will establish new and expanded training 
facilities for the marines here in Australia as well as increase our 
opportunities for joint combined exercises next year.   
 
We began this session with a very impressive strategic review by Prime 
Minister Howard of regional security issues and I think that provided a 
very good foundation for our discussions.  The United States and 
Australia see eye-to-eye on the importance of the U.S.-Japan security 
alliance as well as on China's integration as a strong and constructive 
member of the international community.  We agreed to seek wide support 
for our efforts to ensure that North Korea's nuclear program remains on 
the way to dismantlement and we are promoting a lasting peace on the 
Korean Peninsula through the proposal for Four Party Talks.  I am 
pleased that I heard overnight that our Congress has taken action which 
puts the United States on the way to fully funding its commitment this 
year to KEDO, which is such an important part of our Framework 
Agreement.  We are pledged to continue working for peaceful democratic 
change in Burma.  We welcome the continued development of the ASEAN 
Regional Forum as a way for our two nations to work closely together on 
security issues.  As the Minister said, we reaffirmed our intention to 
work through the APEC meeting in Manila this November and in the first 
WTO meeting in Singapore, also this fall, to forward our joint 
endeavors.   
 
One thing that was a major focus of our discussion was our determination 
to complete a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for signing by September.  
We support the current treaty text -- the Ramaker text -- and I'm very 
pleased that the United States and Australia are absolutely in sync on 
this and working hard together to try to bring that about and make it 
ready for signature in September.  The Minister said we reached 
agreement on an agenda of specific steps to enhance our joint attack 
against drug trafficking, with our discussions covering such items as 
our common efforts on money laundering and organized crime as well.   
 
I conclude by saying that I am very pleased to announce another 
important step in bringing Americans and Australians closer together.  
We will eliminate the visa requirement for Australian citizens traveling 
to the United States for up to 90 days for business or pleasure.  Few 
countries around the world qualify for this visa waiver program under 
the strict requirements of U.S. law.  I think it is very appropriate 
that Australia now is one of those who qualifies as our two peoples 
travel back and forth between us.  We think that this important step 
will greatly facilitate the flow of our citizens, and I know it will 
come as good news to Australians who are coming to the United States 
either for business or for tourism, that they no longer need to get a 
visa if they are coming for 90 days or less.   
 
Finally, I can't conclude without thanking our Australian hosts for 
their extraordinary hospitality and for the great efforts they've made 
to make this one of the very best AUSMIN meetings that I've attended 
over the years.  Thank you so much, Mr. Minister and Mr. Minister.   
 
AUSTRALIAN DEFENSE MINISTER MCLACHLAN:  Good morning.  From the defense 
point of view, I would just like to reiterate what Alexander Downer said 
earlier, and that is that the very high level of United States 
representation at this AUSMIN has enhanced it very much.  Particularly, 
I'd like to thank Secretary Perry for bringing with him General 
Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Admiral Prueher, who is 
Commander-in-Chief in the Pacific, and also to say that I am 
particularly pleased with the joint statement on security, which shows 
that our two countries are firmly focused on the future, and determined 
to make this alliance address mutual security concerns into the post-
Cold War era.  We made some important announcements yesterday, about 
increasing defense exercises, so I won't go into that again, and also 
relating to the joint facilities, but it does show that this 
relationship is being enhanced, revitalized if you like, and we will 
continue as I said yesterday, to look at further opportunities on both 
sides to increase that cooperation.   
 
Finally, I'd just like to say that it must be said that this close 
alliance with the U.S. supports our priorities, Australian priorities, 
for developing closer relations with Asia, and also supports our defense 
self-reliance.  These are three essential elements and they are mutually 
reinforcing elements.  They are in no way mutually exclusive, and I want 
that clearly understood, because we certainly clearly understand it.  I 
think that from the information we've been able to discern, our Asian 
neighbors are extremely comfortable with these arrangements.  So with 
those few words, I'd also just like to say that my first AUSMIN 
conference seemed to me to have been extremely successful, very relaxed, 
with great contributions from both sides, and I'd like to ask Dr. Perry 
if he would like to say a few words. 
 
DEFENSE SECRETARY PERRY:  The defense relationship between Australia and 
the United States is truly a model for the rest of the world.  We have 
fought side by side in five wars to protect our values and to protect 
our freedom.  But our defense relationship today is not about war.  It's 
about peace.  Today we are partners in peace, promoting stability and 
democracy in the Asia Pacific region, and, indeed, around the world.  
Our alliance has never been stronger.  Today we work together on 
regional security, enhanced joint military training, intelligence 
cooperation, and technology sharing.  The joint security declaration 
makes it quite clear that we intend to remain fully engaged and forward-
deployed as an Asia Pacific power.  That is the keystone of our 
commitment to work with Australia in building a peaceful and prosperous 
future in the Pacific. 
 
QUESTION:  Lindsay Murdoch from the Melbourne Age.  I'd like to ask Dr. 
Perry, what undertakings if any has the U.S. given Australia regarding 
the behavior of U.S. marines coming here to train, given their record on 
Okinawa? 
 
SECRETARY PERRY:  The code which governs behavior of our military forces 
is quite clear, quite specific, and quite complete.  It is called the 
"Uniform Code of Military Justice", and we are quite satisfied with the 
description of that as a code of behavior.  In addition to that, U.S. 
forces in Australia fall under the U.S.-Australian Status of Forces 
Agreement.  Finally, on top of that, every time U.S. military personnel 
-- marines, army, air force, navy, whatever -- come to visit Australia, 
or any other country, they're given a very specific briefing on the 
proper behavior in that country.  This is particularly important in 
countries where the culture is quite different from ours, and where they 
need to be briefed, specifically on taking those cultural differences 
into account. 
 
QUESTION:  Secretary Christopher, did you discuss the issue of labor 
rights in the context of the WTO?  How do you (inaudible) Australia's 
position on that issue? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We did discuss that subject.  We noted that 
would be discussed at the WTO meeting in Singapore.  Our positions are 
not completely convergent on the subject.  The United States believes 
that it's a proper subject for discussion in Singapore.  We don't, of 
course, rule out the importance of wage differentials in this world wide 
competition, but at the same time we think it's entirely appropriate to 
discuss the protection of workers' rights, and that will be one of the 
subjects on the agenda for the Singapore conference.   
 
QUESTION:  Secretary Perry, (inaudible) after your last visit, what does 
it say about Saudi cooperation (inaudible) ? 
 
SECRETARY PERRY:  I'm here this week in Australia on very important 
business, and I want to talk today about that important business in 
Australia.  I simply don't care to discuss what my activities next week 
are. 
 
QUESTION:  (Inaudible)     
 
DEFENSE MINISTER MCLACHLAN:  The answer to the question is that we have 
no specific commitments in regard to any future eventualities that might 
come about, but the nature of this arrangement is that we would always, 
I would imagine, be first to discuss with each other major problems that 
occur in the region.  I might say, as well, that both within Australia, 
in regard to our future design of the Australian defense forces, and 
outside Australia, we will be promoting, within our budgetary 
constraints, as much mobility as we possibly can.  Now I don't want to 
take too much time on that, but, obviously, that is a matter of some 
redesign of our arrangements from the past, but I have to emphasize that 
budgetary restraints, of course, limit what one might otherwise be 
prepared to do. 
 
QUESTION:  My question is directed to Mr. Downer.  Given Secretary 
Christopher's gesture in regard to visa-free travel, I wonder if there 
is any room to reciprocate? 
 
FOREIGN MINISTER DOWNER:  First, let me say that we are delighted to be 
included in the United States Visa Waiver Program.  I think it's an 
initiative that will be very warmly appreciated by the traveling 
Australian public.  This is, of course, following discussions between 
Australia and the United States on the broad issue, in the context of 
Australia's planned introduction of the electronic travel authority, 
which will enable Americans to travel to Australia more easily through 
an electronic visa process and that has been foreshadowed before by the 
government.  That means, that, for example, when Americans go to buy 
tickets to come to Australia, electronically the visa application can be 
processed through the travel agent at the time of the purchase of the 
ticket.  So, the fact is, that visa arrangements are, in any case, being 
considerably facilitated for Americans coming to Australia and we are 
delighted now that, in return, Australia is being included on the U.S. 
Visa Waiver Program. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Downer, did any of the countries that we briefed on 
security declarations -- did any of those countries express any concerns 
about the security situation? 
 
FOREIGN MINISTER DOWNER:  No, they didn't express any concern at all.  
The reactions were fairly consistent.  First of all, no surprise was 
expressed.  It was, in every case, acknowledged that Australia has a 
close relationship with the United States, and a long-standing security 
relationship with the United States through the ANZUS Treaty.  Second, I 
think one of the points that is occasionally misunderstood in Australia, 
is that within the Asia Pacific region, there is a very strongly-held 
view that the United States must continue to be engaged in the region as 
the balancing wheel of regional security.  That point, I think 
occasionally, is lost.   
 
But you'll find, as you go around the region, strong support for a 
continuing United States security role in the region.  How does the 
United States maintain its security role?  Well, it does it in a number 
of ways through its treaties and security arrangements with Japan and 
with Korea, but also, importantly, at this end of the Asia Pacific 
region -- at the southern end of the Asia Pacific region -- through its 
security arrangement with Australia.  I'd just add that -- I alluded to 
this in my statement -- I think the close relationship between Australia 
and the United States is a significant plus to the region and it is one 
of the ways that we are able, as Australians, to contribute to regional 
security. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Downer, do you agree with the United States that Boutros-
Ghali should not be given another term as Secretary-General of the 
United Nations? 
 
FOREIGN MINISTER DOWNER:  When I've been asked this question before, 
I've said that Australia wouldn't play a very active role in this matter 
and we weren't standing in the way of Boutros-Ghali's candidacy, but 
this whole issue now has several months to be played out.  There have 
been discussions about it on the margins at the meetings in Jakarta this 
week, and were extensive discussions about it at the OAU Summit which I 
attended a few weeks ago, and so I think this whole issue has a little 
way to go yet.  But, we have made the point, and I made the point to 
Secretary Christopher today, that Australia hasn't intended to stand in 
the way of Boutros-Ghali's candidacy, and we are not standing in the way 
of Boutros-Ghali's candidacy, but we'll watch to see how this matter 
evolves. 
 
QUESTION:  Given that Pine Gap is going to be operating well into the 
next century and given the information electronic revolution which 
exists, does Pine Gap move from being a strategic intelligence gathering 
facility to a facility that is helping to gather and disseminate 
electronic intelligence for real-time war fighting capacity, and what is 
the implication of that towards Australian sovereignty if Pine Gap moves 
from being a strategic intelligence gathering facility to something that 
is likely to be quite useful for a real war fighting capability? 
 
SECRETARY PERRY:  I don't want to discuss the details of what is done at 
Pine Gap.  It is an intelligence collection facility.  It's a joint 
operation -- Americans and Australians.  It provides intelligence -- 
strategic intelligence of enormous benefit both to Australia and the 
United States.  In addition to that, it provides invaluable information 
for the verification of a whole range of arms control treaties. 
 
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