Four people standing in front of Australian and American flags (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)
From left, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defense Minster Linda Reynolds (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)

During his trip to Asia, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heralded the “unbreakable relationship” between the United States and Australia.

The partnership is “grounded in our shared values of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights,” the secretary said August 4 in Sydney’s New South Wales Parliament House at a press briefing with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Australian Minister of Defense Linda Reynolds.

The two countries’ military bond began in the trenches of World War I and continues today as both countries work to ensure a safe Indo-Pacific region.

As Australian Minister of Defense Reynolds noted, “The Australia-United States alliance is stronger than ever, and it is evolving to meet the strategic challenges that confront us today.”

Pompeo and Payne reaffirmed the countries’ century-long “mateship,” an Australian term for friendship.

The U.S. and Australia also continue to enjoy a healthy economic relationship. The U.S. accounts for more than 25 percent of all foreign direct investment in Australia’s economy and the two countries conduct more than $65 billion in trade each year.

The two countries renewed the U.S.-Australia Health Security Cooperation, a partnership that began one year ago to respond to infectious disease threats.

Earlier in the trip, Pompeo traveled to Thailand, where he met with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Lower Mekong Initiative, before heading to Sydney to meet with Australian officials.

“The United States is a Pacific nation. We care deeply about what happens here, and we’re here to stay,” Pompeo said. “I want all Australians to know they can always rely on the United States of America.”