Sunday, 20 October, 2019


Trump hosts second state dinner

Space, minerals to top agenda in Aussie PM's meeting with US president - Xinhua | English.news.cn Donald Trump threatens to 'release Isil fighters at Europe's borders' if home countries don't take them back
Bennie Garza | 21 September, 2019, 09:47

Morrison will have a packed day on Friday in the United States with top-level meetings at the White House, starting with a one-on-one with U.S. President Donald Trump before being joined by most of the U.S. cabinet.

Morrison is on a state visit to the USA, and earlier in the day he received a spirited welcome on the White House South Lawn. Temporary flooring was laid over the grass.

The leaders met for talks on trade, space, China and Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have given Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, gifts to celebrate their USA state visit.

The Department of Defense has reportedly expressed their opposition to reducing the annual limit on refugee admissions, which now stands at 30,000, the historic low for the country's refugee program, which is overseen by the State Department.

Trump says tonight's Rose Garden state dinner "will be quite something".

Still unknown are the potential big names on the tightly held guest list, along with the designer and description of the first lady's evening gown. Musical groups from the USA military will provide the after-dinner entertainment.

Trump spoke of the "unbreakable bond" between the two countries and honored the "100 years of mateship" that was celebrated last year to mark 100 years since troops from the U.S. and Australia fought alongside each other in World War I.

Australian pro golfer Greg Norman, a friend and occasional golf partner of Trump's, is among the invited guests.

"We would be honoured if you would permit Australia as our gift to erect a life-size memorial of this image here in Washington at a place of your choosing as a constant reminder of our dedication to our American friends", he said. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri is among members of Congress who accepted a coveted invitation.

"There are many larger, I suppose, more powerful friends that America has, but they know that they do not have a more sure and steadfast friend than Australia", he told reporters who accompanied him to Washington.

Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corp., will attend, while his father, Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch sits out this dinner, a Fox representative said.

Beyond socializing, the leaders plan talks Friday on military, intelligence and economic issues, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region. Unlike state dinners past, this one is to be held outdoors, under a crisp autumn sky.

It's only the second state dinner of Mr. Trump's presidency; the first was for French President Emmanuel Macron.

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