Obama to visit Australia

obamaA visit being delayed twice, US President Barack Obama is due in Australia to focus on security ties. He is expected to land in the Canberra, the capital of the country on Wednesday afternoon and hold talks with PM Julia Gillard.

The visit is regarding the two countries expecting to mark a 60-year security alliance; also, they are expected to announce plans for expanded military co-operation. It can be observed that the US is pushing forward to concentrate on allies with the Asia-Pacific region as a counterbalance to China.

After attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in Honolulu, the US president is flying to Australia. He and Ms Gillard are expected to have a talk, to give a joint news conference and then have dinner together.

He is expected to set out plans for more US engagement in Australia.  Later in Darwin, he will also visit a memorial to honour US and Australian soldiers killed during World War II. This is his first visit to Darwin by a US leader.

Reports say that the two sides will announce more joint training exercises in the Northern Territory and increased US access to Australian bases.

This has been described as an important, practical step by the Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith. What we have in contemplation is greater utilization of access to facilities, greater training, and greater exercises. It will effectively be a continuation and expansion of what we currently do, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Obama is also expected to fly down to Indonesia for a summit of Asian leaders after this.

Obama to visit Australia

Report by Indrani Chowdury