Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulated US president-elect Donald Trump within minutes of the businessman’s historic win, saying that while many Australians have been “confronted by the intensity of the political battle”, our relationship with America “will continue to be strong”.
The prime minister sought to reassure the nation that “we have so much in common” as billions of dollars were wiped off the Australian stock market as a Trump victory became clearer.
Australian shares closed 1.9% lower, and at one stage were down 4%, while the AUD also dropped sharply.
Turnbull said America will now begin to unite after one of the nastiest campaigns ever witnessed.
“The American people do fight their political contests hard. But this great nation of the United States has the capacity to come together and it will, behind the leaders, behind the President that they have chosen,” he said.
“They are a great and powerful nation; they are a great and powerful friend. And our relationship with the United States is built on millions of Australians and Americans who have been working together, fighting together, serving together, for over a century.”
The prime minister continued: “the enduring national interests of our two countries are such that our relationship will continue to be strong… So I have great confidence that all of our engagement will continue to be strong and intimate, filled with the trust confidence that has characterised it for so many years.”
Turnbull paid tribute to president Obama and his administration for guiding his nation and the world through many challenges, including the global financial crisis and increasing terrorism.
“The bond between our two nations, our shared common interests, our shared national interests, are so strong, are so committed, that we will continue to work with our friends in the United States through the Trump administration.”
Meanwhile, his predecessor, Tony Abbott, took to Twitter to offer his analysis of Trump’s shock election victory.
Congrats to the new president who appreciates that middle America is sick of being taken for granted.
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) November 9, 2016
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