Turnbull and Trump likely to meet in Washington in February

Turnbull and Trump likely to meet in Washington in February
US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade via Wikimedia Commons

It has come to light that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump may be planning to meet in Washington in February. According to The Australian the meeting will possibly take place on the 23rd of February as a group of Australian leaders and business people visit the US capital.

It is expected that the day after Turnbull’s meeting with Trump the Australian premiers are set to hold a special meeting with all 50 US State governors. This is apparently part of a plan to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties between the two countries.

The White House has allegedly made an informal gesture towards the Australian embassy in Washington saying that Donald Trump is eager to meet with Malcolm Turnbull during his February visit. It is likely the meeting will take place at the White House though there have been no official confirmations.

This meeting would be the second time Turnbull and Trump have directly met with each other. The last meeting occurred in May 2017 as part of commemorations of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

At the time, Trump stated that Australia and the USA had a strong “shared history with faith in almighty God”. He said the United States pledged with Australia towards a “lasting partnership in search for prosperity and everlasting peace”.

The relationship between Trump and Turnbull did not start positively however. When Trump first took office he had a phone argument with Turnbull over a refugee deal that Turnbull had made with prior president Barrack Obama.

After the call, Trump said that his call with Turnbull was the “worst call by far” after all of his initial interactions with foreign leaders.

The suggested delegation to the United States would be the largest Australia has ever sent. The premiers of NSW, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria have all been invited to visit and make addresses at the United States National Governors Association on the 24th of February.

This news comes with Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, sending Australia an Australia Day message on behalf of president Trump.  Tillerson spoke of the “unbreakable” bond between Australia and the US.

Tillerson went on to “congratulate the people of Australia as you celebrate Australia Day”, speaking on behalf of the president and the US people. He said that both countries had “deep bonds” that made a strong alliance which was important for mutual security.

Tillerson also said that Americans would “celebrate with you” as a trusted ally of Australia and that the bond between the two countries would only continue to get stronger.

This suggested meeting comes after Donald Trump recently stated that he sought cooperation with Australia against China.