Shepparton News

US pledge to strengthen Oz ties

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CANBERRA: Joe Biden has pledged to maintain an unsurpasse­d partnershi­p with Australia as the two nations strive for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The United States President marked the 70th anniversar­y of the ANZUS treaty with a video message singing the alliance’s praises.

He said the enduring partnershi­p had been about strengthen­ing the fabric of peace.

‘‘That partnershi­p is as essential today as it ever has been in securing the safety and prosperity of both our countries,’’ Mr Biden said.

‘‘On this anniversar­y, we reaffirm our commitment to our shared values, democratic norms, global security and the prosperity for the next 70 years and beyond.’’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared the two nations supported a world that favoured freedom. ‘‘Our alliance and America’s deep engagement in our region is essential as we look to rebuild from the pandemic and shape a free and open IndoPacifi­c that is stable, secure and prosperous,’’ he said.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese used the anniversar­y to pledge the first major review of where Australia’s soldiers are stationed since 2012.

‘‘With the US again engaged in a Global Force Posture Review, it is time for Australia too to have a closer look at our own posture to ensure that it fully meets the times,’’ he told parliament. The force posture review would ensure the government is looking at long-term strategy as well as short-term

needs with the Indo-Pacific a key focus.

It would also respond to the emergence of cyber security as a central challenge to Australia’s strategic positionin­g over the coming decade.

Mr Morrison said Australia was confrontin­g the most challengin­g strategic environmen­t

for decades.

China’s increasing­ly assertive stance in the region shapes as critical for Australia and the US.

The prime minister, Defence Minister Peter Dutton and America’s charge d’affaires Michael Goldman laid a wreath in Canberra to mark the anniversar­y yesterday.

 ?? Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas ?? Tributes: Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton walk away after laying wreaths at the Australian American Memorial at the Australian Defence Force Headquarte­rs in Canberra yesterday. The ceremony commemorat­ed the 70th anniversar­y of the ANZUS treaty.
Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas Tributes: Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton walk away after laying wreaths at the Australian American Memorial at the Australian Defence Force Headquarte­rs in Canberra yesterday. The ceremony commemorat­ed the 70th anniversar­y of the ANZUS treaty.

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