After the rockiest of starts, it appears that President Trump and Malcolm Turnbull are back on friendly terms. Their relationship got off to a famously frosty start when Trump and Turnbull had a heated phone call over the topic of a refugee swap deal which President Obama had negotiated. It was alleged Trump ended the call abruptly, but now that appears to all be in the past.
Turnbull and Trump met in New York aboard the USS Intrepid which was docked in the Hudson River. In their first face-to-face meeting the pair and their wives sat down to dinner together and t seems it went well. Turnbull reported to the press that they “got on like a house on fire”.
Dinner Date for Leaders
The two couples sat together aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier at a dinner to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Turnbull reported that it was a great evening and that it was “more family than formal”.
The warm encounter is good news for both nations, but particularly for Australia as the US is one of the country’s top trading partners and a long-term strategic ally. Just like Trump, Turnbull also comes from a business background and so the two shared some common ground in their paths towards politics.
When probed about the differences between his meetings with President Obama and Trump, Mr Turnbull artfully dodged any direct comparisons by stating that both “are very different men” and that he was “honored and delighted” to have met both.
Away from the spotlight, the pair primarily discussed issues of security, particularly North Korea and the efforts to defeat ISIS. Australia has a large presence in the Middle East as part of the continued efforts to defeat ISIS, committing the third largest number of troops to the cause.