SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will find common ground with U.S. President Donald Trump when they meet in New York on Thursday, Australia’s foreign minister said, in a bid to soothe ties strained by a fractious phone call between the two soon after Trump’s inauguration.
“They don’t have to be best friends, but of course they will be gracious towards each other,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
“I have no doubt that the prime minister and President Trump will find a lot in common, I‘m sure they’ll get along well,” she said, without elaborating on what talks would focus on.
Relations became strained following a row over asylum seekers in February when the U.S. leader described an agreement to swap refugees as a “dumb deal.” Trump, subsequently, begrudgingly agreed to honour the deal Turnbull had made with the previous Obama administration.
Australia is one of Washington’s staunchest allies and troops from the two nations have fought alongside each other in all major conflicts, most recently Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore