Nation leaders from more than 20 countries arrived in Manila to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting. US President Barack Obama and Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull both arrived on November 17. After a press conference, the two leaders had a private meeting.
As reported on ABC News, Turnbull said that their discussion prioritized fighting terrorism in the Middle East. The Australian PM noted their shared views against extremist violence.
“We will continue shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States and our allies in the fight against this type of extremist violence — this type of terrorism,” Turnbull said.
The Australia PM called the Paris attacks as the “sobering reminder of the threat that terrorism poses.”
Moreover, he described themselves as leaders who are “committed to freedom.” He said that they both have a common purpose and strategy. President Obama mentioned the importance of reaching out to the Muslim population.
As mentioned on The Sydney Morning Herald, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that Australia will continue to work with the US and Russia against the Islamic State.
“Given that the US and Russia hopefully are forming a single coalition, we’ll continue to work closely with them to ensure that Australia continues to play its part in seeking to disrupt and destroy Daesh [Islamic State],” Bishop said.
Both leaders also talked about the South China Sea dispute and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A White House document revealed that the United States will seek maritime assistance from Japan and Australia.
Their private discussion during the APEC week was reported to be their first official meeting.
Before announcing the outcome of their talks, 9news.com.au reported an invitation of the US President to the Australia PM.
“One of the things I’m going to announce, is that I’m going to invite you to Washington,” Obama told Turnbull.
And the Australian PM readily accepted the invitation. President Obama mentioned that since the matter is settled, they will set the date of their next meeting.
After the APEC meeting, Turnbull will head on to Malaysia before going back to Australia.