House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today met with the Honourable Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, prior to her address to a joint meeting of Congress. Boehner released the following statement:

“I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Gillard and to host her address to a joint meeting of Congress. The Prime Minister and I discussed ways of improving bilateral trade and regional trade to help create new jobs in both of our countries. And I thanked her for Australia’s steadfast and continued support for our joint efforts to combat terrorism and provide a more secure future for our children and grandchildren.

“For 60 years the United States and Australia have shared a close partnership, a commitment to open markets, and a mutual interest in countering threats to our freedom and security. The Prime Minister’s remarks to Congress are an important reminder of that longtime friendship, and of the important role America plays in providing for the world both leadership and a bold example of what free people can accomplish.”

NOTE: A high-resolution photograph of Speaker Boehner’s meeting with Prime Minister Gillard can be found here. Gillard’s address is the first by a visiting dignitary to a joint meeting of the 112th Congress.

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