Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and the country's Defence Minister David Johnston will be travelling to the United States to attend the 2013 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) to be held in Washington on Nov 20. The ministerial consultation will be hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel. Through the discussions, both sides are seeking to bring about renewed focus on their shared strategic concerns in the Indo-Pacific region, among others.

"I look forward to our meeting in Washington as an opportunity to reaffirm the close and enduring ties between Australia and the United States," the Australian Foreign Minister said in a joint media release issued on Monday.

"Australia's Alliance with the United States is the foundation of Australia's defence, security, and strategic arrangements," she said.

Defence Minister David Johnston, meanwhile, said he looked forward to discussing the prospects of enhancing Australia's engagement with the U.S. for regional defence.

"We will explore opportunities for enhancing our close defence cooperation on capability and technology developments, including in new and emerging areas such as space," the Australian Defence Minister said.

AUSMIN is the premier forum for strengthening bilateral cooperation on foreign policy, defence and strategic matters between Australia and the United States.

The annual minister-level meeting emphasises the six-decade long relations the two nations share. Hosted alternatively in Australia and the U.S., the meeting is attended by Foreign Affairs and Defence ministers and officials from both sides.

AUSMIN is important for both nations as an institutionalized and established channel to discuss strategic issues between the U.S. and Australia, which is her most important ally in the Asia-Pacific. This year's consultations gain prominence, as the U.S. is seeking to shift its security focus from the Middle East to Asia.