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Biden meets Australian PM in WH to ‘strengthen alliance’

Washington, Oct 26 (IANS) US President Joe Biden met visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House during which the two leaders renewed their “commitment to defend the values that are the heart of our alliance”.

Following a meeting on Wednesday, the two leaders addressed a joint press conference at the White House Rose Garden.

Speaking on the Indo-Pacific region, Biden said the alliance between Australia and the US is “an anchor to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and, quite frankly, around the world”.

“We see this through our work of the Quad partners — India and Japan — to ensure the Indo-Pacific remains free, open, prosperous, and secure. I also see it through AUKUS, where, together with the UK, we’re making a generational investments in our shared security,” he added.

AUKUS is the trilateral security agreement between the UK, US and Australia, while the Quad bloc comprises the US, India, Japan and Australia

The President also took a strong stance on a possible conflict in the South China Sea.

He said that in the past week, Chinese vessels “acted dangerously and unlawfully as our Philippine friends conducted a routine resupply mission within their own exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea”.

“I want to be clear — I want to be very clear: The US’ defense commitment to the Philippines is ironclad. Any attack on the Filipino aircraft, vessels, or armed forces will invoke our Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines,” he said.

On his part, Albanese agreed that securing the Indo-Pacific region is a high priority, saying his approach toward his neighbour was “to cooperate where we can, disagree where we must, but engage in our national interest”.

The Prime Minister praised Biden for working closely with Australian leaders to add a new tier to their partnership: climate change.

He noted this was his ninth meeting with Biden since he became prime minister 16 months ago.

He also said the AUKUS would ensure “peace and security in our region” and added that the US-Australia alliance” is also delivering for the Indo-Pacific region bilaterally and increasingly with our partners in the Quad”.

The leaders also emphasised they were united against all acts of aggression, particularly those by Russia and Hamas.

They pledged to work together on finding ways “to stand with Israel” after the 7 October attack by Hamas.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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