Rudd arrives at White House
December 01, 2009 04:45am
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has arrived at the White House for talks with US President Barack Obama expected to focus on Afghanistan and climate change.
White House officials say Mr Obama will brief Mr Rudd on the new US strategy for Afghanistan that he is due to announce publicly in a prime-time address on Tuesday from the prestigious West Point military academy in New York state.
Mr Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters the president had ordered the new strategy implemented on Sunday and began informing the leaders of several countries, including Britain, France and Russia, of his plan.
Australia has about 1,550 troops in Afghanistan, making it the ninth biggest contributor of forces to the conflict there.
Mr Rudd has ruled out sending additional Australian forces to Afghanistan, but during a recent visit to the country gave assurances his troops were in for the long haul.
Mr Obama is expected to announce today that the United States will add about 30,000 more US soldiers to the 68,000-strong US contingent in Afghanistan.The US and Australian leaders are also expected to discuss climate change ahead of key United Nations climate talks that begin in Copenhagen next week. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26424369-23109,00.html