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U.S., Australian leaders vow to strengthen bilateral ties
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09:58, March 29, 2008

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U.S. President George W. Bush met with Australia's new prime minister Kevin Rudd at the White House Friday, with the two leaders vowing to beef up traditional alliance of the two countries.

"One thing is for sure: That friendship will strengthen and endure under the leadership of Kevin Rudd," Bush told reporters after the talks.

Rudd agreed to Bush's comment on traditional friendship between Australia and the United States. "The friendly alliance "has been supported by 12 American presidents, Republican and Democrat. It's been supported by 13 Australian prime ministers, Labor and Liberal, and I'm the 14th," he said.

"And I'm confident that this alliance has a strong, robust future ... because it's rooted in shared values," the prime minister noted.

Rudd was elected Australian prime minister in November 2007.

Australian has been a strong U.S. ally and there are some 1,500Australian soldiers serving in U.S.-led peacekeeping operations in Iraq. It also has around 1,000 troops in Afghanistan, the largest non-NATO contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in the country.

Source: Xinhua

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