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President Bush welcomed Australian Prime Minister John Howard to the White House on May 16, 2006. During the visit, President Bush reviewed with Prime Minister Howard the strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Australia. The President also consulted with the Prime Minister on critical regional and global issues. Australia stands as one of America's closest allies and partners, and continues to work with the United States toward the common goals of promoting peace, freedom, and prosperity through fighting terrorism, stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and promoting an open international economic order.