Well, it is a great delight for both Leon and I to be here today. Once the Premier said that this reminded him of California, I could see Leon levitating. (Laughter.) He’s from the Monterey Peninsula, and all he’s been doing all day is talking about how similar it is to his beloved farm and home.
This has been a very productive meeting. It’s the fourth of these AUSMIN meetings where we discussed security, defense, diplomatic matters, and I’m very grateful that we were able to come here to Perth to have this annual dialogue. Just as a side note, it does seem as though Leon and I, who are both recovering politicians, have found ourselves in either the Premier’s or the Defense Minister’s constituency all day, and one takes credit for the developments downtown and one takes credit for nature. I mean, you can’t beat either one. (Laughter.)
Last night I had the great honor of being at the University, and the Premier talked about how, as a little boy, he was so taken with Sputnik, and so was I, as a child. But we in the United States will never forget what the people of Perth did when John Glenn flew overhead. And the outpouring of support from your parents and grandparents was so remarkable, and the city of light really came through. It’s something that John, who’s been a friend of mine for many years, has incredible memories and gratitude for.
So here we are, back in the city of light, which is now a global center for commerce and trade, looking out, as the Premier said, in all directions across the Indian Ocean. But it is also a place that has increasing interest for Americans, not only because of the investments that American companies are making here, but because of the spirit, the California-like spirit, of western Australia and of Perth.
So we are pleased, although it’s a bit of a torture to be standing here on a day like this with our backs to the ocean and not having a chance to even stick a toe in. (Laughter.) So that only means that, speaking for myself, I will look for the opportunity to return and see more of western Australia and the rest of this beautiful country. But now let me ask the Californian to say a few words. (Laughter and applause.)
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