2 Feb 2010

US president to visit Australia in March

10:10 am on 2 February 2010

United States President Barack Obama is to visit Australia in late March as part of a tour through Asia.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd invited the President to Australia when he was in Washington in late November.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on her way to Australia and New Zealand last month but postponed her visit after the Haiti earthquake on 12 January.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Australia and the United States.

The federal government has welcomed the announcement, saying the relationship with the United States is Australia's most important international partnership and Mr Obama's visit will underline its strength.

The ABC reports the president will also visit his childhood home of Indonesia during his trip.

While in Indonesia, the White House says Mr Obama will launch a US-Indonesian partnership aimed at broadening and strengthening ties between both countries.