World

Strengthening ties? Church present makes light of Trump-Turnbull feud

26 Jun 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull was left bemused after receiving a rather cheeky present by Sydney's Coptic Orthodox church.

The present comprised of a pink necktie with the words "Donald J Trump" on it.

Turnbull shares a difficult relationship with Trump especially after the US president reportedly ended a phone call between them abruptly in January.

Their relationship has reportedly improved. Talk about "strengthening ties."

In context: #Pranked: Church gifts Trump tie to Malcolm Turnbull

BackgroundTrump and Turnbull shared "testy" ties but relations improved

In January, Donald Trump spoke to Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull on the phone about a refugee agreement between former US President Barack Obama and Australia.

Trump, who opposed the agreement, was reportedly irritated and abruptly ended the conversation straining relations between both leaders.

Trump and Turnbull met face-to-face in May and dismissed the incident, saying they shared excellent relations and re-affirmed US-Australia bilateral ties.

26 Jun 2017Strengthening ties? Church present makes light of Trump-Turnbull feud

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What happened?Turnbull sportingly laughed off the present

Turnbull had visited the Coptic Church in Sydney to pay his respects to the victims of a series of ISIS attacks on Christian churches.

After the occasion, church officials played the prank. A beaming Turnbull even posed with the tie.

Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II, who was visiting Australia thought he'd use his position to mend the 'feud' between Trump and Turnbull.

DetailsTurnbull mocked Trump, US and Australia brush it aside

The necktie incident comes days after footage leaked to the media showed Turnbull impersonating and poking fun at Trump.

The incident was brushed off by Australian and American governments as harmless fun.

Turnbull said his impersonation earned him "mixed reviews."

"Everyone says politicians are too serious, too scripted. You gotta lighten up right? It's Australia," he said.