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The Latest: Pence says US will honor refugee deal


The Latest on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Asia and Australia (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says the United States will honor a refugee resettlement deal with Australia that President Donald Trump once dubbed "dumb."

Pence told reporters on Saturday that he had reassured Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the U.S. will honor the agreement struck by the Obama administration — even if the U.S. doesn't "admire" the deal.

In January, Trump and Turnbull got into a spat over the agreement that strained ties between the countries. Under the deal, the U.S. would take up to 1,250 refugees that Australia houses in detention camps on the Pacific island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Pence is in Australia to reassure Turnbull about the state of the U.S.-Australia alliance.

___

10:30 a.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has told Australia's prime minister that President Donald Trump sent him to Australia to reaffirm America's commitment to the U.S.-Australia alliance.

Pence made the remarks ahead of a meeting on Saturday with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other Australian officials in Sydney.

Turnbull and Pence both spoke of the two countries' long history of military cooperation. Australia has fought alongside the U.S. in every major conflict since World War I.

Pence's trip to Australia comes during a period of unusual tension in the Australian-American alliance. In January, Trump and Turnbull got into a spat over a refugee resettlement deal that strained ties between the countries.

___

10 a.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Australia is beginning with a reaffirmation of the two allies' strong ties.

Pence was greeted in Sydney on Saturday by Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove. Cosgrove says the relationship is "as strong today" as it was since "the first time we saw each other on the battlefield in 1919."

Cosgrove says the alliance that started during World War I "started an unbreakable relationship." He also says: "We've been with you every step of the way."

___

9:20 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in Sydney for a weekend visit that will include meetings with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other top officials.

Pence landed in Australia on Friday night, his latest stop on a 10-day tour through Asia.

He's expected to meet with Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, opposition leader Bill Shorten and others. Pence and his family are also scheduled to tour the Sydney Opera House and other landmarks.

The visit follows Pence's stops in South Korea, Japan and Indonesia for events focused on national security, trade and economic development.


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