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NSW: Close ties to US essential - PM

06 Nov 2008 2:59 PM

SYDNEY, Nov 6 AAP - Close ties with the United States under the leadership of Barack Obama will be essential in dealing with challenges facing the globe, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

Mr Rudd said climate change and the current financial crisis were among major challenges the world had to meet.

"For Australia, that will mean building the closest possible partnership with the United States under this new Obama leadership," Mr Rudd said in a speech at the launch of a new book on former prime minister Gough Whitlam in Sydney today.

Mr Rudd said president-elect Obama had offered a message of hope to Americaand the world.

Australia's alliance with the US had been formed under 12 American presidents and 13 Australian prime ministers and was not the preserve of any individual political party, he said.

"The challenges are great and we need to be inspired by hope and committed to a program of common action," he said.

"And this government in Australia stands prepared to work with the incomingadministration of the United States in dealing with these challenges, fuelled by hope and fuelled also by practical resolve."

AAP kdhnscobwl=0A