malcolm turnbull visiting Washington D.C.

US Governor ‘Honoured Prime Minister Turnbull Will Join Us in Washington’

Their relationship got off to a rocky start.

On the first phone call between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump, Trump cut the call short. He was less than pleased at having to accept a refugee deal negotiated under the Obama administration.

But that awkward ‘first date’ appears forgiven and forgotten.

Turnbull will now deliver the opening keynote address to a meeting of American governors as part of this month’s trip to Washington DC that includes a stop at the White House to meet Trump.

The US National Governors Association (NGA) confirmed Mr Turnbull will address the powerful room of more than 40 American governors at their annual Winter Meeting on 24 February.

The governors’ Australian counterparts, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan, Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner, will join Mr Turnbull at the meeting.

I am honoured Prime Minister Turnbull will join us in Washington,’ Nevada Governor and NGA chair Brian Sandoval said on Thursday.

International cooperation and economic development are two key themes of the NGA Winter Meeting this year, so the prime minister’s participation is especially relevant.

More than 10,000 Australian companies sell to or operate in the United States and more than 300,000 American jobs are supported by exports to Australia.

I look forward to further deepening and broadening the relationship between Australian and American states, particularly through innovation, infrastructure, education and employment.’

Mr Turnbull will visit Mr Trump at the White House on 23 February.

It is another step toward mending the leaders’ relationship a year after their tumultuous phone call where Mr Turnbull pushed Mr Trump to honour a refugee deal the previous Obama administration agreed to.

Mr Sandoval noted Australia and the US are commemorating ‘100 years of mateship’.

It is the 100th anniversary of the First World War Battle of Hamel in northern France where Australian and American soldiers, under the command of Australian General Sir John Monash, first fought together.

The Australian Tribune with AAP

The Australian Tribune with AAP

The Australian Tribune with AAP

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