Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Tuesday that she will discuss the global economy and Afghanistan war when she hosts Barack Obama during his first visit to Australia as U.S. president in November .
The White House confirmed Obama will travel to Australia on Nov. 16-17. The trip is in connection with the 60th anniversary of a security treaty between the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
"The president's visit will be an important opportunity to renew our close ties and take forward shared objectives, including restoring the health of the global economy and promoting growth and jobs, planning for transition in Afghanistan and developing strong institutions which can help address the region's political, security and economic challenges," Gillard said in a statement.
Gillard described the United States as Australia's closest ally and partner. The United States is Australia's largest source of foreign investment and third largest two-way trading partner.
"The alliance is fundamental to Australia's security and a cornerstone of stability in the Asia-Pacific region," she said of the security treaty which was invoked near its 50th anniversary after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Australia responded by sending combat troops to back the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Some 1,550 Australian troops remain in Afghanistan, the largest military contribution of any country outside NATO and the 10th largest overall.
Obama had made plans to travel to Australia last year, but the trip was canceled twice _ once so Obama could stay in Washington to lobby for his health care overhaul and a second time because of the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The trips had been scheduled before Gillard overthrew her predecessor Kevin Rudd in an internal government coup in June last year.
The Australian visit will follow Obama chairing a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in his home state of Hawaii. From Australia, he will fly to the Indonesian resort island of Bali to attend an eastern Asia-focussed summit.
U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich said details in the president's itinerary in Australia had yet to be finalized.
Gillard addressed a joint meeting of U.S. Congress in March during her first visit to Washington as Australia's leader.
Obama recalls warm memories of visiting Sydney as a child en route to Jakarta where he lived for several years with his mother and Indonesian step father.