Remarks of the President and Prime Minister Robert Hawke of Australia Following Their Meetings

June 13, 1983

The President. Well, I'm delighted that Prime Minister Bob Hawke has been able to come to Washington so early in his administration.

We've had a productive session, reviewing bilateral issues as well as world developments. And, more importantly, we've had a chance to put our relationship on a personal basis. We find we have much in common, but that's no surprise between friends and allies. The bonds between our two nations are of long standing. Our ties are a precious tradition, reflecting our many concerns and shared values.

Australia is a great nation that plays a vital role in regional and world affairs. It's a key ally upon whom we can count. Ours is an alliance of trust and friendship. I'm grateful for the good will expressed by Prime Minister Hawke today, and I welcome his wise counsel. I've been looking forward to getting to know him. And it was our first meeting, but certainly not our last. We will be in frequent contact in the future. And I wish the Prime Minister and all Australians the best of luck. And again, welcome.

The Prime Minister. Thank you. Mr. President, I join with you in expressing the appreciation that I have for having placed the relationship between our two countries now in terms of a personal meeting between us.

I, like you, have been looking forward to this meeting. I have been able to convey to you, and through you to the people of the United States, the fundamental importance that we in the new Labor government attach to the relationship with the United States.

I was able to remind the President that it was a Labor government during the last war which fundamentally reoriented the international relationship of Australia toward that alliance with the United States. It was an alliance which served us well, the United States and Australia, during that war. And in the period since the war, that relationship, in general, and particularly in terms of the ANZUS Treaty relationship, has continued to serve both our countries well.

There is no country, I have suggested to the President, that this country will be able to rely on more as a constructive ally than Australia. It will be a relationship of deep friendship and, as is befitting between people and nations who are friends, it will be one, at times, where there may be differences of emphasis in our perceptions of particular issues. Those differences, if they exist, will be honestly and directly expressed but will in no way diminish the fundamental depth of the relationship between our two countries.

I appreciate the opportunity that I have had to discuss with the President matters of immediate bilateral importance to us, matters of concern in the immediate region of Australia, and issues of global consideration. And we have found in all those areas an identity of interest. And I have expressed to the President, as he has to me, our firm intention on both our parts to ensure that the relationship, which has been strong and productive in the past, will continue to be even more so in the future. And that will reflect the relations between our countries and what is now a firm, personal relationship between the President of the United States and myself as Prime Minister of Australia.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 1:23 p.m. to reporters assembled at the South Portico of the White House.

Earlier, the President and the Prime Minister met in the Oval Office and then held a working luncheon, together with U.S. and Australian officials, in the Residence.