Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny have arrived at the White House for an official state dinner in the Rose Garden.
The couple were greeted by host U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania.
A stunning Mrs Morrison shone in a sparkly navy halter neck gown from Australian designer Carla Zampatti with her hair pinned up in a chic updo while Melania opted for a frilly light green frock.
While Mr Morrison and Mr Trump appear to be enjoying a ‘bromance’ , things appeared somewhat frostier between their wives.
There was an awkward exchange between the two women, who appeared unsure of whether to shake hands or hug before they settled on a kiss on each cheek.
The pair earlier also looked a little uncomfortable as they stood next to each other for a photo and exchanged greetings.
Mr Morrison is just the second foreign leader to attend a U.S. state dinner since the Trump administration began three years ago.
He is the first Australian prime minister to get an invite since George W Bush hosted John Howard in 2006.
Earlier, Mrs Morrison donned another navy dress from Ginger & Smart for her official White House arrival.
It was her second outfit from the Australian designer in recent days, three days after her forest green jumpsuit turned heads at the annual Mid Winter Ball in Canberra on Wednesday night.
Other Australian guests attending the alfresco dinner include golfer Greg Norman, prominent businessman Andrew ‘Twiggy Forrest, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, U.S ambassador and former federal treasurer Joe Hockey, astronaut Andy Thomas, businessmen Lachlan Murdoch and Kerry Stokes and chef Curtis Stone.
Around 173 attendees at the green and gold-themed black-tie affair will feast on a lavish three course meal starting with ravioli with cream and summer vegetables, followed by dover sole and finished off with apple pie and ice cream for dessert.
Dinner centerpieces feature more than 2,500 yellow California roses and Australia’s national flower, the golden wattle, while the garden itself will be decorated with white and yellow roses.
Musical groups from the U.S. military will provide the evening’s entertainment.
Mr Trump said they would have a great night celebrating Australia.
‘He’s really something special, we had a special day,’ Mr Trump told Sky News Australia.
‘Australia is a great country, beautiful place… I have a lot of friends from Australia. A very strong, great people.’
Earlier, he dubbed Mr Morrison a ‘man of titanium’ in their first meeting in the president’s Oval Office.
In a reference to George W. Bush’s ‘man of steel’ label for John Howard, the last Australian leader to be honoured with a full state visit to the United States, Mr Trump picked a harder metal.
‘You know, titanium’s much tougher than steel,’ he told reporters at the White House on Friday as Mr Morrison and their wives Melania Trump and Jenny Morrison looked on.
‘He’s a man of titanium, believe me, I have to deal with this guy.
‘You might think he’s a nice guy, OK, he’s a man of real, real strength and a great guy.’
While Morrison and Trump hit it off immediately, things were somewhat frostier between Morrison’s wife Jenny and First Lady Melania.
Former model Melania, 49, looked tense as she greeted Jenny, 51, with an awkward kiss on the cheek.
The pair also looked a little uncomfortable as they stood next to each other for a photo.
Earlier, the Trumps welcomed the Morrisons to America with full military pomp and circumstance on the South Lawn of the White House.
‘Today we vow to carry on the righteous legacy of our exceptional alliance,’ Mr Trump told the gathered crowd of about 4500 people.
That alliance stretched back over more than a century of joint military operations, both leaders noted.
‘From the woods of Le Hamel to the jungles of Southeast Asia to the dust of Tarin Kot in Uruzgan, and now the waters of the Strait of Hormuz, Australians and Americans have always stood together,’ Mr Morrison said.
The joint operations in the waters south of Iran are a major topic of conversation for the leaders and their officials during the top-level meeting on Friday.
Mr Trump said he thought the US had taken a ‘very measured and calibrated approach’ towards the Middle Eastern nation.
Mr Trump then repeatedly suggested he could make the call to go to war against the Middle Eastern nation right then and there with Mr Morrison and the media pack in the room.
‘The easiest thing I can do, in fact I can do it while you’re here, is say, ‘go ahead fellas, go to them’. And that would be a very bad day for Iran,’ he said, after announcing stronger economic sanctions on Iran.
Australia has so far agreed to a limited contribution to the US-led freedom of navigation operation in the Strait of Hormuz.
The talks between the leaders are also expected to encompass trade and the tensions with China, co-operation on the US plans for space missions to the moon and Mars, and rare earth exports.
‘For a century we have done what true friends do – stick by each other,’ Mr Morrison said at the welcome ceremony.
‘Whatever lies ahead in this century, I know that Australia and the United States will go on to meet it with the same courage, the same daring, and the same unbreakable bond that has defined the first century of mateship.’
He leaves a visual reminder of this long friendship, giving Mr Trump a statue of WWII soldier Leslie ‘Bull’ Allen carrying a wounded American off the battlefields of Papua New Guinea.
The pair have spoken about Corporal Allen’s story twice previously and for Mr Morrison, it symbolises the indelible bonds that tie the nations together.
Later Mr Morrison will be honoured, first with a luncheon for about 220 guests hosted by Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department, and then with an official state banquet in the gardens of the White House.
He is expected to delve further into the important economic ties at the State Department lunch, noting the US has had a trade surplus with Australia – selling more Down Under than it buys – since the Truman administration.
‘All US exports enter Australia tariff-free and quota-free. You can’t get a better deal than that,’ he will say, according to speech notes.
President Trump welcomed Morrison to the White House on Friday, praising the ‘long-cherished and unwavering friendship’ and ‘exceptional alliance’ the two nations have enjoyed for more than a century.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Kylie Stevens and Emily Goodin