Clinton praises Australia’s peacekeepers

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has praised Australia’s role in peacekeeping missions in the Asia Pacific region.

Speaking to an audience of under 35s to be broadcast on the ABC on tonight, Ms Clinton acknowledges Australia has “increased the military cooperation with Malaysia and Singapore, provided crucial assistance in the Timor-Leste transition to independence and led stabilisation forces in the Solomon Islands”.

“Your efforts to promote sustainable development around the world reflect an understanding of how important it is to lend a hand to those communities,” Ms Clinton says in her address to the audience, before taking questions.

“Your sending peacekeepers to dangerous missions in troubled lands sets a very good model.”

Ms Clinton is due to meet Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday afternoon to look at renewable energy projects.

She will join with US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith on Monday for the annual AUSMIN talks.

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