Donald Trump introduced his daughter Ivanka to Prime Minister Scott Morrison at an exclusive dinner between US and Australian delegates ahead of the G20 summit in Japan.
The President of the United States met with the Australian Prime Minister at Osaka’s Imperial Hotel on Thursday, where Mr Trump congratulated him on the May 18 election win.
‘He didn’t surprise me but he surprised a lot of other people,’ Mr Trump said at the opening of a working dinner with the prime minister.
‘See, I knew him. See, I said you’re going to do very well, and he did, he did that.
‘They called it an upset but I don’t call it an upset … I want to congratulate you very much, it was a fantastic thing.’
Donald Trump met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison at an exclusive dinner between US and Australian delegates ahead of the G20 summit
Donald Trump introduced his stunning daughter Ivanka to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday
The meeting with Mr Morrison was the first Mr Trump held upon his arrival in Osaka
The meeting with Mr Morrison was the first Mr Trump held upon his arrival in Osaka.
The prime minister said he saw the working dinner as a chance to urge Mr Trump to stay engaged with Chinese president Xi Jinping to resolve the trade dispute casting a shadow over the global economy.
‘It’s going to be an important few days but there’s no better or stronger or deeper relationship than the United States to Australia,’ he told Mr Trump on Thursday night, foreshadowing their conversation.
Asked whether his ‘America first’ policies hurt allies like Australia in areas including trade, Mr Trump said the US had been very good to its allies.
‘We work with our allies, we take care of our allies,’ he told Mr Morrison and reporters.
‘So we do work with ourselves and we look at ourselves I think more positively than ever before but we also look at our allies.
‘And I think Australia’s a good example. We worked together very closely just recently on a big trade situation, we had a little bit of a trade deal going and it worked out very well for both of us.’
The prime minister said he saw the working dinner as a chance to urge Mr Trump to stay engaged with Chinese president Xi Jinping
Mr Morrison said earlier in the week Australia would not be a passive bystander as damage from the US-China trade tensions spread
Mr Morrison said earlier in the week Australia would not be a passive bystander as damage from the US-China trade tensions spread.
Mr Trump will also meet with Mr Xi in Osaka to discuss trade.
The White House has signalled it is in no hurry to solve the trade dispute with China and the president would use his meeting with Mr Xi ‘to see where the Chinese side is since the talks last left off’.
While Mr Morrison was optimistic they could move things along, he cautioned it may take longer than the world watching on would like.
China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye said on Wednesday his country does not want a trade war but would ‘fight to the end if needed’.
Mr Morrison and Mr Trump were also expected to discuss the prime minister’s G20 initiative for stronger global cooperation on stopping terrorists and violent extremists using social media platforms, and developments with Iran and North Korea.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison shakes hands with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
The warm relationship between Mr Morrison and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe was on full display as they met ahead of the G20
The warm relationship between Mr Morrison and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe was on full display as they met ahead of the G20.
Mr Abe twice used the prime minister’s nickname ‘ScoMo’ in welcoming him to Japan, and spoke of the countries’ close ties.
‘We have a special strategic partnership with Australia; we must promote that forcefully so that we can cooperate for the realisation of a free and open Indo-Pacific,’ Mr Abe said.
He also welcomed Mr Morrison’s major foreign policy speech earlier this week, in which the prime minister said Australia would not stand by while the trade tensions between the US and China damage the global economy.
During their meeting, which was also attended by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and senior officials, both leaders expressed their wish for the US and China to reach an agreement on trade to provide momentum for global growth.
Caption Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison meets with President Trump for the G20
They also committed to finalising the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a trade deal involving the ASEAN and Indo-Pacific states, excluding the US.
It’s hoped the deal will be complete by the end of the year.
While the pair met in Darwin and at the G20 in Argentina as leaders last year, this is Mr Morrison’s first trip to Japan as prime minister.
He said he was pleased to return the support Japan gave Australia when the G20 was hosted in Brisbane in 2014.
‘I particularly want to thank the prime minister for your support in relation to the combating terrorism on the internet … initiative and your support in allowing that agenda to come through into the meeting,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘I particularly want to thank the prime minister for your support in relation to the combating terrorism on the internet … initiative and your support in allowing that agenda to come through into the meeting,’ Mr Morrison said
‘We look forward to what we might be able to achieve in that area.’
Mr Morrison wrote to Mr Abe soon after the live-streamed Christchurch mosque massacre in March with a proposal to use the G20 to make social media companies crack down on violent extremists using their platforms.
That has become a formal item for discussion at the second leaders’ session once the summit begins on Friday.
The pair also discussed Mr Abe’s goals for the G20, particularly his desire for a show of unity in tackling shared challenges.
They talked about enhanced security cooperation in the region, given North Korea’s ballistic missile capabilities, and Australia and Japan’s shared interest in ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.