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Scott Morrison invites Donald Trump to Australia

On 10:50 AM

Scott Morrison invites Donald Trump to Australia

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Scott Morrison has invited US President Donald Trump to Australia during a "very warm" phone call the day after becoming Prime Minister.

Mr Morrison, who fended off a challenge from Peter Dutton for the Liberal Party leadership on Friday, spoke to the US President on Saturday morning in a sign the new Prime Minister is keen to assure allies a week of turmoil in Australian politics poses no threat to international relationships.

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"Both underlined the strength and depth of our alliance and the unbreakable friendship between Australia and the United States," a spokesman for Mr Morrison said of the conversation.

"The Prime Minister invited the President to visit Australia. Both leaders agreed to stay in contact and to meet at an early opportunity.”

Mr Morrison also spoke with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and New Zealand Prime Minister Jac inda Ardern.

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There is a strong chance Mr Trump could visit in November, following the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Morrison's predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, invited Mr Trump to Australia during a meeting in the Oval Office earlier this year.

Mr Turnbull stepped down as Liberal leader on Friday and will resign from Parliament within a fortnight.

The US President - who congratulated Mr Morrison on his elevation in a tweet on Saturday and said there are "no greater friends than the United States and Australia" has not visited the country since his election in 2016.

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In April he abruptly withdrew the nomination of Admiral Harry Harris as the administration̢۪s pick for the next US Ambassador. Admiral Harris was instead sent to South Korea and the Australian position remains vacant.

The alliance was rocked in 2016 when Mr Trump learnt of a deal Mr Turnbull struck with Barack Obama to resettle up to 1250 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru in the United States.

In a phone call with Mr Turnbull, the newly inaugurated US President called the arrangement "the worst deal ever" and called the conversation "the worst call by far" he had had with a world leader.

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  • Scott Morrison
  • Donald Trump
Bevan Shields
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Bevan Shields is the federal editor and Canberra bureau chief for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House in Canberra

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