Australians joyous at upcoming Obama visit
Australians were Tuesday imagining picture-perfect images of the Obamas cradling koalas at Sydney's harbourside Taronga Zoo after the announcement that the US President and his family will spend time in Australia after visiting his childhood home of Indonesia in March.
"President Obama will be a most welcome guest in Australia on his first official visit," Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement.
"Australia's relationship with the United States of America is our most important international partnership. We are allies, we are trading partners, and we cooperate on the international challenges confronting all nations," Rudd said.
Obama's visit coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations.
"Our formal military alliance, the ANZUS Treaty, has been in force for nearly 60 years," Rudd said. "The president's visit will underline the strength and breadth of the relationship."
In a separate development, US officials announced the disappointing news for the European Union that Obama would not attend the EU-US summit in Spain in May.