June 2, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Australia cancels Quartet meeting in Sydney after Biden postponed

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Wednesday that the Quartet summit will not take place in Sydney next week without U.S. President Joe Biden, whose trip has been delayed by debt ceiling negotiations in Washington.

Albanese said the leaders of Australia, the United States, India and Japan would instead meet at the G7 in Japan this weekend, after Biden canceled a trip to Sydney on the second leg of his upcoming trip to Asia, which was also due to include a visit. to Papua New Guinea.

“The Quartet leaders’ meeting will not go ahead in Sydney next week. Although we will have that discussion among the Quartet leaders in Japan,” Albanese told a news conference.

In an interview on local radio, including a rally at an indoor stadium in the city’s west, Albanese said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sydney would continue next week.

Albanese added that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida withdrew from his trip after Biden’s cancellation.

The Quartet is an informal group that promotes the Indo-Pacific Open. Beijing sees it as an attempt to fend off its growing influence in the region.

Canceling Biden’s visit to Papua New Guinea, which would have been the first visit by a US president to an independent Pacific island country, could set back Washington’s battle for influence with Beijing in the region, said Richard Maude, a senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute. .

“The mantra in the region is about showing up. Being present is half the battle. China turns up all the time, so the optics aren’t great,” Maude, the former Australian intelligence chief, told a panel discussion in the Quad newspaper on Wednesday.

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India and Australia are not part of the G7 group of seven rich countries – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – but were invited to attend the summit in Japan.

(Reporting by Ringo Jose in Sydney) Editing by Chris Reese

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