Pence embraces US-Australia partnership after Trump spat
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SYDNEY, Australia — U.S.
Pence and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull repeatedly praised the decades-long American-Australian alliance following a meeting in Sydney, with the
Meeting at the governor-general's residence with sweeping views of Sydney Harbour and the city's famed opera house, the two leaders appeared at pains to present a united front following an unusual period of strain between the longtime allies. The anxieties were sparked by a spat between Turnbull and Trump over a refugee resettlement deal struck by former President Barack Obama.
Pence said Saturday that the U.S. would
Trump's anger over the agreement led to a tense phone call with Turnbull in January and an angry tweet in which the president called the deal "dumb."
"President Trump has made it clear that we'll
The prime minister, for his part, said that "whatever the reservations of the president are," the decision "speaks volumes for the commitment, the integrity of President Trump, and your administration, sir, to
The fallout over the deal has strained the typically cozy alliance between the U.S. and Australia. A majority of Australians view Trump
Pence's visit Down Under, part of his 10-day, four-country trip to the Pacific Rim, was widely viewed as an effort to smooth over relations with Australia. Indeed, the
Both leaders also repeatedly cited the nations' long history of military
Pence said his trip to Australia during the administration's first three months in office and Trump's plans to travel to Asia next fall represented "a strong sign of our enduring commitment to the historic alliance between the people of the United States of America and the people of Australia."
Pence and Turnbull said they were aligned in their opinion that China should use its leverage with North Korea to de-escalate the nuclear threat from Pyongyang. Pence said the U.S. believes that it will be possible to achieve its objective of ending North Korea's nuclear program peacefully, largely with the help of China.
Turnbull echoed the sentiments, saying: "The eyes of the world are on Beijing."
Pence said that while the Trump administration had pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it still considered its bilateral trade deal with Australia to be a "model" and a "win-win" for both countries.
The alliance was front-and-
Pence was using the visit to make a number of cultural stops, joining with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the Australian Museum, observing exhibits on crocodiles and snakes and listening as one of the museum's managers offered a traditional Highlands welcome of Papua New Guinea.
On Sunday, Pence and his family were to tour Sydney's iconic Opera House, take a boat ride in the
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