POLITICS

Julie Bishop Meets Mike Pence To Discuss 'Remarkable Relationship' Between 'Allies And Friends'

And no, they didn't discuss *that* phone call.

22/02/2017 10:44 AM AEDT | Updated 22/02/2017 11:07 AM AEDT

Malcolm Turnbull and Donald Trump may have apparently gotten off the wrong foot, but their respective representatives have met for a "constructive discussion" in Washington D.C.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters that she had a long and productive meeting with Vice-President Mike Pence that would be the basis of continuing the "remarkable relationship" between Australia and the U.S.

The meeting is just weeks removed from reports of a fiery phone call between Turnbull and Trump, where the new president reportedly cut the PM off after 25 minutes and heavily criticised the refugee swap deal struck with Barack Obama's administration.

Bishop was pressed as to whether that phone call came up in her discussion with Pence, but she insisted the pair got straight down to the business of security.

"We want to be part of the strategic thinking of the United States because we have been a major contributor to the coalition to defeat ISIS and we will continue to do so," Bishop said.

"It affects Australia. It affects our security. The number of foreign terrorist fighters leaving Iraq and Syria, as more gains are being made against them, is a concern for our region and we discussed our counter-terrorism cooperation in south-east Asia as well."

White House

Bishop described the conversation as being "positive and constructive" between "partners, allies and friends".

"We are very strong strategic and defence partners. We are very strong economic partners," Bishop added.

"It's a great basis upon which to strengthen this already remarkable relationship."

The Foreign Minister is scheduled to meet next with Trump's new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, where she plans to cover "global, regional and bilateral issues".

"I've already had a long telephone conversation with Secretary Tillerson. It was very positive and I expect we'll continue to discuss areas of common interest and concern," she said.

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