Today marks the first visit to Washington by Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s new Prime Minister, since taking office in September. Australia is one of America’s closest allies in Asia, and a central part of the administration’s rebalance strategy. For example, President Obama gave two of his major speeches on Asia in Australia, and Australia is a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Turnbull’s visit is significant for the pressing global and regional issues the two leaders likely discussed. But the meeting is also an illustration of the intense engagement with allies and key partners in Asia by the Obama administration in the first month of 2016 — a reflection of the progress the administration has made in bolstering these partnerships and the increasing importance of them for tackling today’s headline-grabbing events.This article was originally published in The Huffington Post.