In wake of tense Trump call, Pence aims to soothe Australia
FILE – In this April 11, 2017, file photo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull takes a tour during a four day visit in Mumbai, India. More than two months after President Donald Trump got into a spat with Turnbull, Vice President Mike Pence will be working to smooth over any lingering hard feelings with the longtime US ally. Pence will meet with the prime minister on Saturday as part of his trip to Asia. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, File)
SYDNEY — Vice President Mike Pence will be working to smooth over any lingering hard feelings with Australia more than two months after President Donald Trump got into a spat with the country’s prime minister.
Pence will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday as part of his 10-day, four-country trip to Asia. His agenda includes reassuring Turnbull about the state of the unusually strained U.S.-Australia alliance.
The affection the longtime allies usually share for each other is rooted in decades of cooperation on defense, intelligence and trade.
But Australia was unhappy with Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Then Trump and Turnbull had a contentious phone call in January over a refugee resettlement deal struck by the previous Obama administration.