The President Holds a Bilateral Meeting with the Prime Minister of Australia

President Obama: Well, it isa great pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Turnbull andhis delegation to the Oval Office.

We had the opportunity towork together at the G20 Summit in Turkey and thenhad our first bilateral meeting in Manila duringthe APEC and ASEAN events.

And I emphasized to thePrime Minister at that time and want to reiterate theextraordinary gratitude that the American people have forthe strong and steadfast alliance betweenour two countries.

I've said before that thefriendship between the United States and Australiais not only based on common economic andgeopolitical interests, but it's also based on anextraordinary affinity and shared values.

There are very few countriesthat have as much in common as the United Statesand Australia does, and I want to thank all thepeople of Australia for the extraordinary hospitalityand graciousness that they've shown me every timethat I've had a chance to visit yourwonderful country.

I'm glad to be ableto reciprocate.

I will note it is a littlebit colder here than it was Down Under.

Malcolm has had anopportunity to travel to some key hotspots overthe last several days, includingAfghanistan and Iraq.

And those are just twoplaces where we see the value of Australia's armedforces and the remarkable contribution that they havemade and the sacrifices that they make consistently.

Keep in mind that inour fight against ISIL, Australia is the secondlargest contributor of troops on the groundafter the United States.

They have been a consistentand extraordinarily effective member of thecoalition that has helped to deliver an opportunity forthe Afghan people to govern themselves and to buildup their security forces.

And so I'm very much lookingforward to hearing from Malcolm his impressionsabout how we can continue to focus on what we call theparent tumor of ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and the importantwork that we have to do together on counteringviolent extremism generally.

We note the recent attack inJakarta that appears to have been ISIL-inspired, and it'sa reminder that Southeast Asia has generally done avery effective job fighting against extremism but it isan area that we have to pay attention to and watch.

And, obviously, Australiahas been impacted in the past by suchterrorist attacks.

So we're going to talk abouthow we can strengthen our cooperation, bothin Syria and Iraq, the state of affairsin Afghanistan, but also countering violentextremism globally.

And Australia will be a veryimportant partner in that process.

We'll also have a chance totalk about the Asia Pacific region, where we have commoninterests across the board.

Our rebalance has beeneffective in part because we have such strongtreaty alliances, and Australia is one ofthose critical alliances.

And our Marinesin Australia, the joint exercisesthat we do, the work that we do toaffirm an international order and rules of the roadwith respect to issues like maritime law all arecritical for the continued expansion of commerceand the sustained, peaceful conditions thatallow our economies to thrive.

And finally, we'll have achance to talk about TPP.

We are both part of thedriving force that created this rules-based system thatis now being prepared to ratify among thevarious nations.

It is going to begood for our economy.

It is going to be goodfor our workers and our businesses.

And it reaffirms that inorder for us to thrive in the 21st century,particularly economies that are respectful of rule oflaw and concerned about labor rights andenvironmental rights, it's important for us to bemaking the rules in this region, and that'sexactly what TPP does.

And I know that the PrimeMinister has an agenda to spur additional innovationand investment in science and technology in Australia,which in this economy is going to be vital forany economy to succeed.

So I'll be interested tohear his plans and maybe offer my thoughts about thework that we're doing to continue to make sure thatour economy is a dynamic, knowledge-based economy.

So I am gratefulfor our friendship, grateful for the workthat we do together.

I'm very grateful for thesacrifices that have been made by Australiantroops around the world, working side by side withour outstanding men and women in uniform.

And I look forward to avery productive meeting.

Prime Minister Turnbull:Thank you very much, Barack.

You've been very hospitableand generous in inviting me to Washington this month.

And your agencieshave been very open.

We've had very productivediscussions with the Defense Secretary, Ash Carter.

Together, we went toArlington and paid our respects to the — on theTomb of the Unknown Soldier and recalled the comradeshipover a hundred years of Australians and Americansfighting side by side in freedom's cause.

You're quite right– our alliance, our relationship is foundednot just on national self-interest, not juston economics or kinship, but on shared values.

We define our nationalidentities by reference to common political values offreedom, the rule of law, democracy — real democracy,which empowers the majority, but constrains them so asto protect the minority.

So we have those strongvalues in common.

And as you've said justover the last few days, I've been in Baghdad andKabul meeting our servicemen and meeting many of yourservice leaders there, as well.

And I've learned firsthandfrom our people and yours and, indeed, from thegovernment of Iraq, from its Prime Minister, howAustralians and Americans working together wereable to support the Iraqi security forces in theretaking of Ramadi, which has been an absoluteadrenaline shot of confidence for thatgovernment — a very, very significant result.

It was a great combinationof our servicemen and women working with theIraqis to achieve that.

In Kabul, I met with oursoldiers who are training the Afghan National Army,their next generation of leaders, building capacityso that they can secure and hold their own country.

And once again we're doingthat in partnership.

So it is a verystrong — very, very strong partnership.

We've had very gooddiscussions with your intelligence community, too.

That is especially importantin the battle against violent extremists.

We have to constantly liftour game in the way we engage with and tacklethese extremists, particularly ISIL — butthere are many others — as they operate inthe cyber sphere.

Archaic and barbaricthough they may be, their use regrettablyof the Internet is very sophisticated.

And so I'm pleased thatwe're going to be working on even closercollaboration there.

Barack, youmentioned the TPP.

And can I say, as I'vejust said to the U.


Chamber of Commerce,encouraging them to encourage their congressmenand senators to support it, that the TPP is muchmore than a trade deal.

The prosperity of the world,the security of the world has been founded on thepeace and order in the Asia Pacific, which has beendelivered underwritten by the United States and itsallies, including Australia.

And what we've been able todo there is deliver a period of peace, a long period ofpeace from which everybody has benefited.

And America's case — itsproposition — is more than simply security.

It is standing upfor, as you said, the rules-basedinternational order, an order wheremight is not right, where the law must prevail,where there is real transparency, where peoplecan invest with confidence.

And the TPP is liftingthose standards.

And so it is much morethan a trade deal.

And I think when people tryto analyze it in terms of what it adds to thisamount of GDP or that, that's important.

But the critical thing isthe way it promotes the continued integrationof those economies, because that is as importantan element in our security in the maintenance of thevalues which both our countries share as all ofour other efforts — whether they are in defense orwhether they are in traditional diplomacy.

So right across theboard, Mr.

President, we have so much in common.

And I congratulate youfinally on the completion of the arrangement with Iranover their nuclear program.

That was aformidable effort, a great example ofleadership on the part of the United States.

And I see that Ithink there is, in that very difficultpart of the world, which we will discussshortly in much more detail, that is going to be animportant step forward in ensuring the stabilityof that region.

So we have a lot to discuss.

I thank you very muchfor your hospitality, for your generosity, and theway in which — typical of the relations betweenAustralians and Americans — we have been able to speakcandidly at all levels of your government,in a common cause, because the values we shareare the values not just for these times, butfor all time.

Thank you very much.

President Obama: Thank you.

Thank you, Malcolm.

Source: Youtube