WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will meet Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York on Thursday for their first face-to-face talks since an acrimonious phone call about refugees early in Trump’s term.
Trump and Turnbull are to hold their meeting aboard the USS Intrepid, a World War Two aircraft carrier that was turned into a museum and is moored on Manhattan’s west side. They will also attend a black-tie dinner on the ship commemorating the 75th anniversary of the World War Two Battle of the Coral Sea.
Turnbull was one of the first foreign leaders Trump spoke to after taking office on Jan. 20. The Republican president became irritated that he was expected to honour an agreement made by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, to accept 1,250 refugees.
Trump broke off what was supposed to be an hour-long call after 25 minutes and later tweeted that it was a “dumb deal” and vowed to study it.
Vice President Mike Pence visited Australia in April and made clear that while Trump was not happy about it, the United States would honour the agreement out of respect for Australia, one of Washington’s staunchest allies.
Pence sought to put any sense of lingering tension to rest during his visit, which included meetings with Turnbull and other government officials.
A senior administration official said Trump and Turnbull were expected to discuss Asia-Pacific security, including the nuclear and ballistic missile threat from North Korea as well as issues surrounding China.
It will be Trump’s first trip back to New York, where he made his name and fortune, since the former real estate executive moved into the White House in January. He does not plan to stay overnight at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, but is expected to go afterward to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast last weekend that he was not comfortable with the high costs of maintaining security for him in Manhattan.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney