The VIP airplane that was supposed to be carrying Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has suffered a mechanical failure causing her to be significantly delayed.

Her flight was to leave Townsville but was unable to take off and a replacement airplane is being flown from Canberra, meaning some of her planned bilateral talked with President Obama will have to be rescheduled.

Gillard is attending a NATO summit meeting in Chicago along with other non-NATO members that were invited as part of a greater emphasis on global security. She will also be attending International Security Assistance Force talks regarding Afghanistan.

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