Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with US President Barack Obama on Saturday and urged the US to maintain its global voice on issues including terrorism. Abbott, reportedly, also held talks with Obama’s spy chief James Clapper.
The meeting took place at an exclusive banquet on Saturday night and the duo had a “very warm and intimate discussion.”
“It was obvious Obama was pleased to see him,” a source said.
Abbott had, reportedly, also met Obama’s spy chief and US director of National intelligence Clapper the day before. Though the details of the meeting have been kept secret, it is understood that the talks involved war strategies against the Islamic State and other global threats.
The News Corp reported that Abbott also met Senator John McCain during his visit. McCain described Abbott on Twitter as a “great leader & strong supporter of the US-Australia alliance.”
The former prime minister met other important political personalities like the former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass and also elder statesman of US foreign affairs.
Abbott was also invited for lunch by the former president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, and the head of investment firm Morgan Stanley, James Gorman. Both Wolfensohn and Gorman are Australians.
However, Abbott refused to divulge details of the meeting. He said that the US highly valued Australia’s contributions to world affairs.
“There was overwhelming gratitude for Australia’s support and most explicitly on the role we are playing in the Middle East,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Abbott as saying. “Australia is very well respected in Washington. The Americans want senior Australians speaking strongly on important global issues. They wanted to thank me for the support our government had given them. They were very appreciative of the work done under my prime ministership and the work continuing to be done under the new prime minister.”
Abbott’s visit to Washington followed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s only two weeks earlier and is unlikely to go down well with the prime minister. Turnbull had also met Obama and Clapper, along with other intelligence officials.