Prime Minister Tony Abbott is ending his visit to Washington with meetings and a wreath laying at Arlington.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, as his government drops the idea of creating a national war cemetery in Canberra to commemorate the Anzac centenary in 2015.
The tomb is in the Arlington National Cemetery.
Mr Abbott on Friday viewed the elaborate changing of the Army soldier guard ceremony at the tomb, before laying the wreath.
“It’s fitting that I should lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier here,” Mr Abbott told reporters.
“I should pay tribute to the Americans who have fought for their country because many of them have been fighting for our country.”
He said Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Britons had all made sacrifices over the past century.
The cemetery is the final resting place of more than 400,000 active-duty service members, veterans and their families.
Mr Abbott raised the idea of creating a similar cemetery in Australia in 2013 at Legacy’s national conference in Brisbane, describing it as “Australians’ Arlington”.
The concept would involve interring significant ex-soldiers.
But it is understood the concept has now been ditched after feedback from the veterans’ community.
The prime minister, who will host the G20 summit in November, also on Friday discussed financial and economic issues with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen.
Mr Abbott will receive a military welcome when he visits the Pentagon for talks with Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.
He will then head to Houston, where he will deliver a speech to the Asia Society. Liquefied natural gas is also likely to be discussed during Mr Abbott’s visit, with the biggest project occupying the minds of LNG industry figures being the Panama Canal expansion.
It will allow massive Post-Panamax ships to take American LNG to the booming markets of Asia to compete against the Australian product.