In their first joint appearance abroad, U.S Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday pledged unity with longtime ally Australia in fighting Islamic extremists who seek to intimidate the West.
According to the Associated Press, Mattis and Tillerson spoke alongside their Australian counterparts at the opening of a joint meeting expected to touch on a range of subjects including defeating Daesh, stabilizing Afghanistan and dealing with North Korea's nuclear threats.
In her opening remarks, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said "countering terrorism" would be high on the meeting's agenda.
Bishop said: "We meet a day after the shocking events in London and I know that we've spoken to our counterpart (British) Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to express our deepest condolences to the British people and the British government for yet another barbaric terrorist attack.
“And the issue of countering terrorism will be high on our agenda today. The global terrorist threat is ever evolving, we've seen brutal attacks in a number of European cities, we've thwarted attacks here in Australia, and so we want to discuss with you, the links back into the Middle East, the role we're playing with you in Iraq and Syria and also in Afghanistan.
“We are united in our resolve to defeat ISIS (Daesh), the Islamic State terrorist organization and its ilk."
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said her government was concerned by IS (Daesh) linkages in Asia and the Pacific.
Payne said: "For Australia, from our perspective today it's important that we do discuss Daesh's links in Southeast Asia, violent extremist organizations and the risk that returning foreign fighters who may endeavor to resume positions in their own countries might pose in this region. They'll come back with battlefield skills, they'll come back with hardened ideology, they'll come back angry, frustrated, and we need to be very aware of that."
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