Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull received a warm welcome from US President Barack Obama on Tuesday during his first visit to the country after assuming office. Their White House talks focused mainly on terrorism and the global economic conditions. Obama also praised Australia’s active role in fighting the ISIS.
Turnbull drew attention to the need for more action to stop the ISIS online and also discussed the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership deal, which might be tough for Obama to get passed in Congress.
The Australian Financial Review reported that Obama praised Australia’s military prowess and thanked it for its contribution in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had urged a number of countries to increase its military role in Syria and Iraq, but Australia declined to do more than it was already doing. The decision faced criticism at home, which also came from former Defence minister Kevin Andrews who said that Australia should have responded to the request of the US with the most favorable consideration.
“Keep in mind that in our fight against ISIL, Australia is the second largest contributor of troops on the ground after the United States,” the ABC quoted Obama as saying in a statement.
“They have been a consistent and extraordinarily effective member of the coalition that has helped to deliver an opportunity for the Afghan people to govern themselves and to build up their security forces. And so I’m very much looking forward to hearing from Malcolm his impressions about how we can continue to focus on what we call the parent tumour of ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and the important work that we have to do together on countering violent extremism generally.”
Turnbull’s meeting with the Obama followed his visit to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The ABC reports that Turnbull also underlined the controversial TPP deal, saying it plays an important part of growth for the US and across the Asia Pacific. The deal includes 40 percent of the global economy and 12 countries around the Pacific rim, including Australia and the US. Turnbull said that it is important for the developed countries to innovate to match the development in the Asia Pacific.