New Australian PM reassures US of support in Afghanistan

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 25, 2010 08:33

 
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CANBERRA, Australia  — Australia's new prime minister said she used her first telephone conversation with President Barack Obama on Friday to assure him the country's military commitment to Afghanistan would not change under her leadership.

Some observers have speculated Prime Minister Julia Gillard may push for an early withdrawal of Australia's 1,550 troops from Afghanistan as the war loses popularity among Australians and elections loom.

"I assured President Obama that my approach to Afghanistan will continue the approach taken to date by the Australian government," Gillard told reporters on Friday, less than 24 hours after she was sworn in as the country's first female prime minister.

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