Trump, Australian PM agree to patch up bilateral ties

Trump, Australian PM agree to patch up bilateral ties

NEW YORK: Donald Trump and Australia's Malcolm Turnbull met for a patch-things-up summit in New York Thursday, with the US president saying an earlier telephone spat was "all worked out."

Trump claimed a bad-tempered call with the Australian prime minister early in his White House tenure had been "fake news" that was a "big exaggeration" by the media.

Trump reportedly exploded and cut short the call when he was told about a Barack Obama-era deal to move refugees from Australia to America.

The president took to Twitter afterward to label the agreement as "dumb," rattling a decades-old alliance.

"It's all worked out. It's been worked out for a long time," Trump said, as the pair, dressing in black tie, smiled and swapped legislative war stories.

"We had a great telephone call. You guys exaggerated that call. That was a big exaggeration. We're not babies," Trump said, reverting to his favored tactic of media-bashing.

"We get along great. We have a fantastic relationship, I love Australia, I always have," Trump said as the pair met for the first time.

Turnbull said that "we can put the refugee deal behind you and move on."

Trump and Turnbull gathered in New York, hoping to steady the long-standing alliance after relations soured at a time of growing tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

The two leaders convened on a decommissioned aircraft carrier, the Intrepid, in New York, to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

The World War II fight against Japanese forces forged an alliance that has seen Australia pitch in alongside the United States in every major conflict since. (APP)