President Trump, Prime Minister Turnbull and … the Solomon Islands?
It is perhaps a fleeting connection at best, but there is one reason why US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull are meeting next month.
And the Solomon Islands has a lot to do with it.
Announced by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer yesterday, Mr Turnbull and President Trump will meet for the first time at a May 4 event on the USS Intrepid – a Sea, Air & Space Museum which is permanently moored off New York.
The event is to commemorate The Battle of the Coral Sea, a WWII battle which involved the Solomon Islands.
The battle, in May 1942, was sparked by Japan’s bid to isolate Australia by invading Port Moresby and Tulagi Island, and is considered a key moment in the alliance between the US and Australia.
The proposed meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull has created headlines in both countries, as it will try to smooth over relations after a “robust” phone call between the pair in January.
At the time Mr Trump called the call “the worst call”.
Honiara will be the centre of a major international commemoration in August this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadacanal, which also saw US forces combine with Australians.
No word yet on whether Mr Trump or Mr Turnbull will meet again to mark that occasion – or if they will be in town to join the celebrations in Honiara.
SIBC is doubtful Mr Trump will make the journey to Honiara, but stranger things have happened: he is the US President for one!