POLITICS

Greens Call For 'New Path' Away From Trump's America

The Greens leader wants a pivot to Asia.

05/02/2017 9:22 AM AEDT | Updated 06/02/2017 12:48 PM AEDT
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Richard Di Natale wants Australia to rethink its relationship with the US.

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale has called on Australia to overhaul its alliance with the US in the wake of Donald Trump's controversial actions since becoming president.

Speaking on Sunday, Di Natale said Trump was putting global security at risk by rolling out poorly considered policies, making it the right time for Australia to shift its allegiances to Asia.

"Donald Trump is endangering peace and security right and around the world and I think the time is long overdue for us to renegotiate the terms of the US alliance, which has become ... a huge liability for Australia, rather than the asset it once was," Di Natale told ABC television.

"I think that the time has come for us to take a new path. We saw New Zealand do that some time ago and they continue to demonstrate that it is possible for a middle power, a smaller nation, to stand on their own two feet."

Di Natale, who took part in a local anti-Trump rally on Friday, conceded that Australia needed to work with the US, but said at the moment the bi-lateral relationship was "one way traffic".

"What we need to do is forge a new path, an independent path, one that recognises that our place is firmly located in Asia," he said.

Di Natale's comments come after a number of controversial executive orders made by Trump in his first fortnight as president, and the diplomatic stoush that erupted this week following Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's first official phone conversation with the billionaire businessman-turned-politician.

In the call, Trump is said to have taken a hostile tone with Turnbull and reportedly ended the chat after just 25 minutes into what should have been a one-hour call. Trump later tweeted that Australia's proposed refugee swap with the US was "the worst deal ever".

The reported hostility from Trump towards Australia's PM has been interpreted as a shift in US attitude towards one of its most loyal allies.

Trump subsequently disputed the negative reports about the call, using Twitter to thank Turnbull for "telling the truth" about their "very civil conversation". He also lashed out at "fake news media" for misreporting the tone of the phone call.



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