Pence Makes Fence-Mending Trip to Australia

Pence Makes Fence-Mending Trip to AustraliaPence Makes Fence-Mending Trip to Australia

More than two months after US President Donald Trump got into a spat with the leader of Australia, Vice President Mike Pence hopes to smooth over any lingering hard feelings.

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 US-Australia alliance and laying out the new administration's priorities for the Pacific Rim, AP reported.

The affection the longtime allies usually share for each other is rooted in decades of defense, intelligence and trade cooperation.

Australia has fought alongside the US in every major conflict since World War I and is one of the largest contributors to the US-led military campaign in Iraq and Syria.

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

But Australia was unhappy with Trump's decision to pull the US 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.

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