‘Pence is coming? Well, that’s annoying’

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US Vice President Mike Pence tours Sydney0:51

US VP Mike Pence will tour Sydney after a day of talks confirming strong ties between America and Australia.

US Vice President Mike Pence pats a red kangaroo during a visit to Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

AAP

AFTER more than a week travelling the Asia Pacific to reassure key allies about America’s commitment to the region, US Vice President Mike Pence is taking time out in Sydney as he winds up his tour.

Mr Pence, his wife Karen and their daughters Audrey and Charlotte visited Taronga Zoo on Sunday morning to meet a variety of fury friends. Amid a huge security presence at the zoo, the vice president and his family were given the chance to get up close with kangaroos, an echidna and an emu named Widji.

Some zoo visitors weren’t impressed by the disruption caused by the VP’s presence.

“Is Mike Pence coming,” one frustrated dad asked a police officer at one of the zoo’s heavily guarded entrances.

When told that he was on his way, the dad was less than thrilled. “Well that’s annoying,” he said.

Earlier in the morning, Mr Pence and his family attended a church service in North Sydney after holding a private meeting with US Embassy staff and their families.

US Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen and daughters Audrey and Charlotte look at a koala during a visit to Taronga Park Zoo. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

US Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen and daughters Audrey and Charlotte look at a koala during a visit to Taronga Park Zoo. Picture: AFP/Peter ParksSource:AFP

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will take them on a cruise around Sydney Harbour for lunch before the Pence family visit Government House and the Opera House. Mr Pence’s day of sightseeing in Sydney follows high-level talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday when the pair discussed the security threat posed by North Korea, trade and terrorism.

Mr Pence is due to fly out of Sydney early on Monday morning for Hawaii, the last stop on his 10-day Asia Pacific tour.

Taking a leisurely spin around Sydney Harbour on a Sunday afternoon is not a simple affair if you are the vice president of the United States.

Not only do you need a luxury cruiser, but huge teams of armed NSW and Federal police plus a contingent of US Secret Service agents and the odd Navy boat.

As a rivercat carrying US and local media trailed alongside them among the police and naval boats, the Pence family took in sights including the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Fort Denison, Goat Island and Admiralty House, where the vice president held talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday. As they learned more about Sydney’s famous landmarks, Mr Pence was expected to discuss potential US investment opportunities in NSW.

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