Published: Mon, April 24, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Pence, Turnbull embrace US-Australia partnership

Afterwards, it wasn't clear if the US would honor the deal - which Trump later tweeted was "dumb" - but on Saturday, Pence assured Australia that America would indeed accept the refugees.

The fallout has left relations between the USA and Australia at their lowest point since the Vietnam War, when Australia's then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam criticized a series of bombings authorized by then-President Richard Nixon.

Mr Pence's visit Down Under is widely viewed as an effort to smooth relations with Australia in the wake of the highly-publicised argument between Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump.

Turnbull thanked Pence, saying his assurance shows the "integrity" of Trump and his administration.

In a nutshell, the USA will take refugees now on the island nation of Nauru and on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

A day earlier, Pence told Australian leaders that the US would honor an Obama-era refugee agreement between the two countries.

Pence will meet with Bishop during his trip to Australia.

Turnbull said China could use its economic leverage to force North Korea into compliance.

The White House, although it has reluctantly accepted the terms of the deal, has insisted that the refugees arriving from Australian undergo "extreme vetting".

Asylum-seeker advocates welcomed the U.S. commitment, although they remained concerned that "extreme vetting" could see fewer than 1,250 resettled in the US.

Pence was speaking on the final leg of a 10-day tour of the Asia-Pacific region that included meetings with political and business leaders in South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.

He also reaffirmed the US commitment to the controversial refugee swap deal that had dented the US-Australian relationship during a fiery phone call with Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump shortly after his inauguration.

V.P. Pence said the decision to abide by the deal despite Pres. Trump's "reservations" was a "reflection of the enormous importance of the historical alliance between the United States and Australia". Australia is the only country to have fought alongside the every major conflict since World War I. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important.

Pence was greeted in Sydney on Saturday by Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

The country is also part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing programme with the US, Canada, Britain and New Zealand.

Pence also met with the leader of an Australian opposition party.

Mr Pence resurrected the hope, when he assured the counties on the firing line that they wouldn't be abandoned in the event of being threatened by North Korea.

On Sunday, Pence and his family were to tour Sydney's iconic Opera House, take a boat ride in the harbor and visit the city's Taronga Zoo.

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