United States President Barack Obama has thanked the Australian people for the "enormous sacrifices that are being made in Afghanistan by Australian troops".
Mr Obama made the remarks during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan.
During the 35-minute meeting, the ABC reports, the two leaders talked about expanding trade and boosting economic growth.
Mr Obama says the US does not have a closer or better ally than Australia. "I expressed my personal thanks to the people of Australia to the Prime Minister for the enormous sacrifices that are being made in Afghanistan by Australian troops," he said afterwards.
"We are grateful for all the work that we do together."
Mr Obama has invited Ms Gillard to Washington early next year to further enhance bilateral cooperation.