Turnbull to meet Trump, reaffirm alliance

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Sydney, April 26 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he will meet US President Donald Trump on May 4 in New York and reaffirm their alliance, following rumours of a tense relationship between the two leaders.

Turnbull on Tuesday said the meeting would give him opportunities to “reaffirm our alliance and the US’ engagement with the Asia-Pacific” region, EFE News reported.

The visit was officially announced by White House spokesperson Sean Spicer in Washington on Tuesday.

The Australian Premier will meet Trump on May 4 aboard the USS Intrepid museum in New York to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, a major naval battle during World War II.

In the battle, the American and Australian Navy clashed with the Japanese Imperial Navy in 1942.

The meeting comes after Vice President Mike Pence visited Australia last week.

Turnbull also visited Iraq and Afghanistan where he visited Australian troops and discussed with US Defense Secretary James Mattis the future of Asian region.

The two will also address the situation on the Korean peninsula as the region is facing “a serious threat from a reckless and dangerous regime” due to its recent weapons tests.

After taking office, Trump had a tense telephone conversation with Turnbull regarding the refugee deal signed during former President Barack Obama’s administration. Since then, rumours have surfaced that the two leaders are not in a good relation.

Trump called the agreement “dumb” and reportedly accused Australia of wanting to export “the next Boston bombers”, referring to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

Meanwhile, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said that he expects better “chemistry” between the two leaders, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I think there is something of chemistry when two people meet face-to-face, which is probably not present over a phone call,” Joyce said on Wednesday.

–IANS

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