Obama to Visit Australia in November

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The White House says President Barack Obama will travel to Australia in November to mark this year's 60th anniversary of the security alliance between the United States and Australia.

The trip is the middle part of a three-legged journey during which Mr. Obama will host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Hawaii and join the East Asia summit in Bali, Indonesia. A White House statement says while in Australia, the US leader will meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard for talks on expanding cooperation in global economic growth, trade, and jobs in advance of the summit.

President Obama was twice forced to cancel trips to Australia and Indonesia in 2010, once so he could stay in Washington to lobby for his health care overhaul and a second time because of the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will meet with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defense Minister Stephen Smith in San Francisco to discuss regional security challenges and ways to improve cooperation.

The 60-year old ANZUS treaty is the military alliance which binds Australia and the United States, and separately, Australia and New Zealand, to cooperate on defense matters in the Asia Pacific region.