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5/9/03 - U.S.-AUSTRALIA PARTNERSHIP - 2003-05-09

Meeting with Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, President George W. Bush paid tribute to those who helped to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein:

"In Iraq, Australian and American forces have stood together once again. We ended the rule of one of history's worst tyrants, and in so doing. . . .we made our own people more secure."

Australia has been a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Australian and American forces fought side-by-side in the coalition that helped drive the extremist Taleban regime and its al-Qaida allies from power in Afghanistan. President Bush said the U.S. and Australia have good reason to cooperate:

"We're committed to defeating the threat of terror because we have both felt terror's effects. We remember the sympathy of the people of Australia on September 11th, and we shared the same sympathy with the people of Australia after the horrible bombings of Bali. . . . We won't tire in our attempts to fight terror. Nothing will deter us."

Prime Minister Howard said the Australia-U.S. alliance is based on more than the need to meet a common threat:

"Australia and America are close friends because above all we have similar values. In the end, the thing that binds nations together more than anything is the commonality of their values. And we have a view of the world that puts freedom and individual liberty. . .at the center of the activities of both our nations."

The U.S. and Australia are standing together to defend freedom and, as President Bush said, make "peace more possible in the world."