The President called Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott last night to congratulate him and the Opposition Coalition for his success in the Australia federal election on September 7. The President and Mr. Abbott discussed their grave concern about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, and the viability of the Russian proposal to put all Syrian chemical weapons and related materials fully under international control in order to ensure their verifiable and enforceable destruction. The President and Prime Minister-elect discussed ways to further strengthen the U.S.-Australia alliance, including by implementing fully the force posture initiatives announced by the United States and Australia in November 2011. They also discussed the importance of concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations this year.
The President also called outgoing Prime Minister Rudd. The President thanked Prime Minister Rudd for his friendship, leadership, and unflinching support of the U.S.-Australia relationship, as well as for his strong position on the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on August 21.