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Meeting reaffirms Australia-United States Defence Agreement.



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THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

www.defence.gov.au

Thursday,4 December 2008 194/2008

MEETING REAFFIRMS AUSTRALIA-UNITED STATES DEFENCE AGREEMENT

The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, and US Ambassador Robert McCallum Jr, met today to discuss and exchange documents to amend the Chapeau Agreement.

The Chapeau Agreement between Australia and the United States (US) is a binding agreement that covers a range of cooperative and joint activities undertaken by the two countries. Today’s exchange will extend the Chapeau Agreement to cover existing and future personnel exchange and liaison

programs.

“Personnel exchange and liaison programs are vital to expanding and strengthening the Australia - US Alliance. The exchange of personnel allows Armed Forces from both countries to gain a greater understanding of each other’s training and culture,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“The shared experience of training and operating together builds close professional relationships and networks between members of the Australian and US Defence Forces. This allows for more effective knowledge exchange and cooperation between the two countries.”

The benefit to the Australia - US Alliance is improved integration of the two Armed Forces at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

“Our work on the Chapeau Agreement strengthens the longstanding partnership between Australia and the US, and provides a stronger platform from which to meet future challenges,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Once the treaty has been tabled in Parliament, and after approval of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is obtained, the Minister will advise the US that Australia’s domestic requirements have been completed and the agreement is in force.

Images of the event will be available on the Defence website at: www.defence.gov.au/media/download

Media contacts: Jack Smith (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0408 116 423 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664