Aussie Rudd Says Hello To Obama-No To Afghanistan

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd extended congratulations to newly elected Barack Obama but also made clear his nation was not going to be sending additional troops to fight in Afghanistan. Rudd responded to reports that Obama was going to make the war in Afghanistan his first priority in the Middle East but noting Australia currently has about 1,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan and there is no doubt there will not be any further increases in the size of that contingent. “We’ve got no plans to increase that(contribution) in the future but of course we look forward to discussing that in the future.”

Rudd said he wanted to forge close working relations with Obama because there was need for the world to work together on issues like global warming and the financial crisis. “I’m convinced we’re going to have a first-class working relationship. His message of hope for America is equally a message of hope for the world.”