Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has sought to reassure the nation that Australia’s relationship with the United States will remain “strong and intimate” following the election of Donald Trump as president.
Speaking with 7:30 shortly after Mr Trump gave his victory speech in New York, Mr Turnbull stressed the United States would stand by its commitments to the global community.
“The United States’ administration, the Trump administration, just like the Obama administration, will act in defence of America’s enduring national interests,” the Prime Minister said.
“Prime ministers and presidents, congressmen and senators come and go, but the nations enduring interests continue and the alliance between Australia and the United States is set in the enduring national interests of both countries.”
Mr Turnbull suggested Mr Trump’s rhetoric might soften now that he is faced with moving into the White House.
“It’s important to remember that great observation another American politician said, which is that they — he’s speaking of American politicians — he said, ‘We campaign in poetry, but we govern in prose’,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Whether you regard the debates in this last American campaign as poetry, the fact is that when an administration takes office, when a president takes office, he is confronted with the realities of the national interests of the United States, the strategic realities that confront the United States.”
Mr Turnbull earlier made a short statement to the media, shortly after Mr Trump’s victory speech in New York.
“The ties that bind Australia and the United States are profound, they’re strong, they’re based on our enduring national interests,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Politicians and governments, congressmen, senators, prime ministers and cabinets, will come and go, according to the will of the people of Australia and the United States.
“But the bond between our two nations, our shared common interests, our shared national interests, are so strong, are so committed that we’ll continue to work with our friends in the United States through the Trump administration.”
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the tone of Mr Trump’s comments to supporters after Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton conceded the election.
“I understand that Australians have been confronted by the intensity of the political battle in the United States,” Mr Turnbull said.
“President-elect Trump himself described it as being at times a nasty campaign, and it was certainly by our standards, a very bitter one.