News / Asia

Australian PM 'Stand Firms' Behind US-Afghan War Strategy

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, center, flanked by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, (l), and Senate President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, (r), is applauded as she prepares to address a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, center, flanked by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, (l), and Senate President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, (r), is applauded as she prepares to address a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard reaffirmed her support for the war in Afghanistan and pledged cooperation with the United States on issues in the Asia-Pacific region during an address to the U.S. Congress.

Gillard delivered what she called a "simple message" as she became the first head of state to address Congress since new members were elected in November.

"A message which has been true in war and peace. A message which has been true in hardship and prosperity, in the Cold War and in the new world. A message I repeat to you today. Distinguished members of the Senate and the House, you have a true friend down under”"

The Australian prime minister said she stands firm in support of the U.S.-led strategy in the decade-long war against the Taliban and is "cautiously optimistic" about the future of Afghanistan.

"We know the transition will take some years. We must not transition out only to transition back in."

Australia is the strongest non-NATO U.S. ally, with more than 1,500 troops in Afghanistan.

Gillard also pledged cooperation in the Asia Pacific region, where she said the global order is changing the most. She acknowledged both countries' complex relationship with China, but said the United States should not fear China's rapid growth as it bares the burden of its own tough economic times.

"There is no reason for Chinese prosperity to detract from prosperity in Australia, the United States or anywhere else in the world," said Gillard.

In a direct appeal to lawmakers, Prime Minister Gillard urged them to make tough economic reforms and to pass legislation opening the door for more free trade in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We know the equation is simple. Trade equals jobs, a very simple equation."

The Australian prime minister also noted what she called the "momentous" upheaval in the Middle East, and pledged her alliance with the United States in condemning Iran's nuclear program, and in a call for an Israeli-Palestinian resolution.

Gillard is wrapping up a three-day trip to Washington - her first since becoming Australia's first female prime minister last year. She meet this week with President Barack Obama and several key Cabinet members, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid