Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has returned to work after heart surgery and is flying to the United States for bilateral talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Rudd and Defense Minister Stephen Smith left Australia on Wednesday for San Francisco for an annual summit with their U.S. counterparts, Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The government said in a statement Rudd will also attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York and a multinational foreign ministers forum in Washington. He will then visit Mexico.
The 53-year-old former prime minister has been recuperating since he underwent an aortic valve transplant last month.