The famous wink: Prime Minister Tony Abbott with US President Barack Obama this week.

The famous wink: Prime Minister Tony Abbott with US President Barack Obama this week. Photo: Andrew Meares

As a former journalist, Tony Abbott will cherish the clipping. And as a Prime Minister eager to disprove his foreign policy critics he will savour it even more. 

In an unusual and symbolically significant move, Mr Abbott has co-authored an opinion column with US President Barack Obama, which has been published in the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

The Op-Ed, titled "Obama and Abbott: The U.S. and Australia make common cause in the Pacific", is being trumpeted by those close to Mr Abbott as the strongest possible rebuke to Labor's assertions that his stance on climate change is threatening the US relationship and endangering global talks on his overseas trip. 

Shadow foreign minister Tanya Plibersek branded Mr Abbott a "Nigel no friends" on the world stage and shadow environment minister Mark Butler has warned the Prime Minister is undermining Australia's international credibility with his lack of interest in global warming.

But the co-authored column makes no mention of climate change and instead trumpets the close and dependable military and economic ties between Australia and the US. 

"On Thursday, we met at the White House to discuss not only how our countries have stood together in defense of peace and freedom during every major conflict of the past century," the piece states. "But also how we will work together going forward on a range of economic and security issues."

That second sentence holds extra significance given neither leader has ruled out using armed force to help Iraq's brittle government fend off jihadist militants surging towards Baghdad.

"Today we are standing shoulder to shoulder against terrorism," Mr Abbott and Mr Obama asserted.

The column also conveys a not-so-subtle warning to China, whose leaders have been aggressively asserting themselves against Japan and other Asian neighbours in disputed territories in the South China Sea.

"Both Australia and the United States are concerned that increasingly provocative behavior in advancing maritime territoriality claims in Asia poses an increasing risk of miscalculation and, in the worst case, conflict," the column states.

"Neither the United States nor Australia takes a position on sovereignty in these territorial disputes," they added. 

"But we both strongly oppose the use of intimidation, coercion or aggression to advance any country's claims."

Mr Abbott and Mr Obama said they were "strongly committed" to concluding the negotiations for the 12 country trade deal - the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP, which pointedly does not include China, would if secured "deepen integration among economies that account for almost 40 per cent of global GDP, 11 per cent of the world's population and more than one-quarter of global trade."

The two leaders agreed on a number of shared goals for the G-20 summit, hosted by Australia in Brisbane this November.

The summit will be an opportunity to "strengthen infrastructure investment, promote energy efficiency, fight tax avoidance... and complete the financial regulatory reform agenda outlined by the G-20 in response to the global financial crisis."

@jonathanvswan