The White House announced Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will meet with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon for this year's Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) at the State Department on April 9.

Among the topics on the agenda will be the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, strengthening the international non-proliferation regime, and enhancing bilateral security cooperation and defense interoperability.

At the conclusion of the day's discussions, Secretaries Clinton and Gates will join Ministers Smith and Fitzgibbon for a joint press conference in the State Department's Benjamin Franklin Room.

The first AUSMIN was held in 1985. The venue for AUSMIN changes between the two countries each year.

AUSMIN was developed as a forum for bilateral consultations between the US and Australia, allowing the two countries to discuss issues concerning international relations, dealing with terrorism and economic issues.

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