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Obama Arrives In Australia To Strengthen Ties

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U.S. President Barack Obama has arrived in Australia for a long-delayed visit to discuss economic and security concerns.

Mr. Obama’s plane touched down at Canberra’s airport Wednesday afternoon after long flight from Hawaii, where he hosted Australan Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other regional leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

He is scheduled to meet with Ms. Gillard Wednesday, followed by a joint news conference. On Thursday, he will address the Australian parliament before heading to the northern city of Darwin, where he is expected to announce plans for a new base for U.S. Marines.

The visit comes as the U.S. and Australia mark the 60th anniversary of a defense treaty.

Australia has contributed troops to fight alongside the United States in each of its major conflicts, including World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama is the fifth serving U.S. president to visit Australia. He had scheduled two previous trips to Australia, but was forced to cancel them to address domestical and political crises.

From Australia, Mr. Obama heads to Bali, Indonesia, for a meeting of regional leaders at the East Asia Summit.

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