US president in consultation with Australian PM over Afghanistan war

19:46, April 15, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama talked across a range of issues including the Afghanistan war in an exclusive interview screened on Thursday on Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV.

Speaking to the 7:30 Report's Kerry O'Brien at the White House, Obama said he is in constant consultation with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd over progress in war-torn Afghanistan and has noted Australia's contribution to the war, in which 11 Australian soldiers have been killed, as an enormous sacrifice.

Obama has rejected any assertions that the situation is not improving ahead of an expected drawdown of U.S. troops beginning mid-next year.

"We can't be in there in perpetuity. Neither the American people nor the Australian people should be asked to carry that burden any longer than it needs to be carried," he said.

The U.S. President also said he hopes to bring first lady Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha to see the sights when he visits Australia in June.

Obama was due to visit Australia in March but the trip was postponed as he was forced to stay in Washington to push through his historic health reforms.

Obama said he expected to stay in Australia for at least a " couple" of days so he can take his wife and the kids to Canberra and Sydney.

"I used to travel through Australia when my mother was living in Indonesia and my grandparents were living in Hawaii," he said.

"We'd usually go through Sydney and memories I have, not only of it being a beautiful country but of people being just wonderfully hospitable and kind to me, are ones that I carry with me."

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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