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Australia PM Abbott vows to be 'most dependable friend' to US

Published on Jun 12, 2014 10:37 PM
 
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (left) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid meet on Capitol Hill in Washington June 11, 2014. Prime Minister Tony Abbott vowed on Thursday that Australia would be the "most dependable friend" of the United States despite disagreements with President Barack Obama on climate change. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Prime Minister Tony Abbott vowed on Thursday that Australia would be the "most dependable friend" of the United States despite disagreements with President Barack Obama on climate change.

Mr Abbott - a conservative who has called the science behind climate change "absolute crap" - is holding his first talks at the White House a week after Mr Obama unveiled his most ambitious plans yet to reduce carbon emissions blamed for the planet's rising temperatures.

Ahead of his talks, Mr Abbott saluted the historically tight US-Australia alliance, even as he welcomed the rise of China.

"I am confident that the coming century will indeed be the Asian century, but only if America is there too to keep the peace and enforce the rules," Mr Abbott told business leaders at the US Chamber of Commerce. "Undoubtedly, America will have more important friends. Occasionally, America will have more useful friends. But know this - America will never have a more dependable friend than Australia," he said.

 
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