Australia key to core of US' Asia-Pacific pivot, says Biden

| Updated: Jul 20, 2016 19:22 IST

Sydney, July 20 (ANI): U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Australia remains the key to the core of Washington's Asia-Pacific pivot. Rounding off his four-day official visit to Australia with an address at event hosted by several think-tanks here, Biden recalled the century of linkages between the two nations. "The partnership between Australia and America is at the core of our vision for the region's future," Biden told the audience which included three former Australian prime ministers Tony Abbott, John Howard and Bob Hawke. "Here in the early years of what's truly going to be the Pacific century, it's critical America and Australia look to one another for mutual support... because together, I am absolutely confident we can write a better future for all our children, and for this whole region." He said that the United States isn't backing away from its Pacific policy, confirming that more than 60 percent of the U.S. fleet will be based in the Pacific by 2020. "Today our partnership with our allies and other security partners in the Pacific are stronger than they have ever been, especially here in Australia," Biden said. "Anyone who questions America's dedication and staying power in the Asia Pacific is simply not paying attention," Biden said. Biden flies to New Zealand later on Wednesday where he will meet with Prime Minister John Key. (ANI with inputs)