Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived in Washington, DC, Thursday for a week-long U.S. visit, promising to lay the foundations for another 100 years of friendship between the two staunch allies.
Touching down at Joint Base Andrews, the Australian conservative leader said the visit would improve the defence, security and economic partnership between the two countries, and joint activities in the Indo-Pacific region and the Middle East.
G’day USA. The Aussies are here. Wonderful to be here in the land of the free and home of the brave. Special thanks to my friend @realDonaldTrump and the First Lady for their warm invitation and welcome. pic.twitter.com/icu9CMqXfl
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) September 19, 2019
Morrison said it was a “great honour and privilege” to be welcomed to the U.S. capital by the Trump administration to celebrate a century of close diplomatic ties, and the trip, which includes a program in Chicago and New York, would lay the foundation “for another 100 years”.
“There are many larger, I suppose, more powerful friends that America has, but they know they do not have a more sure and steadfast friend than Australia,” Morrison said.
The prime minister was welcomed on arrival at Andrews by the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Arthur Culvahouse, and his wife, Melanie Lyell-Aiken, as well as the assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs, David Stilwell.
Morrison will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday ahead of a state dinner later that night. It is the first such invitation to an Australian prime minister since George Bush hosted John Howard in 2006.
Friday’s event will be just the second state dinner of Trump’s administration, and the first in more than a year
When the visit was first announced, Morrison went out of his way to applaud the U.S. and honor the relationship between the two.
As Breitbart New reported, he said Australia and America “see the world through the same eyes” and paid elegant tribute to American leadership in the South-West Pacific theater during World War Two, applauding the United States as it “helped secure the freedom we enjoy today” after it joined Australia in turning back Japan from occupying nearby Papua New Guinea.
He said Australia and the U.S. had “always understood each other and stood by each other.”
“Australia believes in what Ronald Reagan called the ‘truths and traditions’ that define the United States,” Morrison said. “We stand together in these self-evident truths. We stand together for personal liberty and freedom. For democracy and the ballot box. For the rule of law, and freedom of association. For free economies and free peoples.”