Obama opens long-delayed visit to Australia

Updated: 2011-11-16 14:50


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Obama opens long-delayed visit to Australia

US President Barack Obama waves to the public inside the Parliament House as Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard looks on in Canberra Nov 16, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA - US President Barack Obama has finally fulfilled his promise to visit Australia.

Obama arrived in the Australian capital of Canberra Wednesday afternoon. Air Force One crossed the international dateline as it traveled to Australia from Honolulu, where Obama hosted an economic summit.

The president will spend a day and a half in Australia, meeting with the country's prime minister and addressing the Australian Parliament. And he's expected to announce that the US is expanding its military presence on the continent.

Obama has twice canceled plans to visit Australia, once to stay in Washington to lobby for passage of his health care bill, and again in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.