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US Vice President Mike Pence set for talks with Malcolm Turnbull in Australia

20 April 2017 4:40 PM
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US Vice President Mike Pence set for talks with Malcolm Turnbull in Australia

Mike Pence's "What My Friend Meant To Say" tour2:29

National Political Editor Malcolm Farr talks us through the US Vice President's upcoming tour of Sydney, and what we can expect.

SECURITY is being tightened in Sydney ahead of US Vice President Mike Pence’s first visit to Australia this weekend.

NSW Police are warning motorists to expect traffic in and around the CBD, with clearways in place from today until Monday.

Operation Ambience Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics Command, said the NSW Police Force work closely with the Federal and State Government, as well as other key agencies and stakeholders, to manage security.

“There will be a range of traffic changes and a number of Special Event Clearways that will be put in place to facilitate the movements of the Vice President, and to ensure minimum disruption to road users,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.

Protesters are set to rally in Sydney today, on the eve of Mr Pence’s visit, renewing their calls for an end to the Australia-US war alliance.

“US President Trump’s recent missile bombing of Syria and his ‘MOAB’ bombing of Afghanistan on April 15 marks a dangerous escalation in the US war of terror in the Middle East,” protest organiser Sydney Stop the War Coalition wrote on Facebook.

“Trump’s reckless threat to “take out” North Korea is also cause for alarm in our region.

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon is set to address the rally, which calls for an end to the US-Australia alliance and to close the US bases.

Mr Pence will join a listening session on American businesses, jobs, and the economy, and give remarks to the US and Australian business community.

Ms Bishop invited Mr Pence to visit Australia “as soon as possible” back in February, several weeks after the infamous fiery phone call between US President Donald Trump and Mr Turnbull over a refugee resettlement program, which Mr Trump described as “the worst deal ever”.

Ms Bishop’s invitation was seen by some commentators as a deft political manoeuvre, obviating the need for an invitation to be made to the president himself, which could be politically more fraught.

Mr Pence’s visit will be the first time a US vice president has come to Australia before a president in nearly 30 years. He will travel to Sydney with his wife, Karen, who he calls “Mother”, and his children for his whirlwind Asia-Pacific tour.

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