In a significant development, US President Joe Biden has graciously accepted Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s invitation to deliver a speech before the federal parliament, coinciding with the upcoming Quad leaders’ summit at the iconic Sydney Opera House. The meeting will bring together the heads of state from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.
Prime Minister Albanese, delighted to confirm the details of the visit, expressed his satisfaction that President Biden agreed to address the federal MPs as a gesture highlighting the warmth, depth, and strength of the Australia-US Alliance. Notably, this occasion marks President Biden’s visit to Australia, the first by a US President since 2014, and only the fifth time a US President will deliver a joint address to the Australian parliament.
During his visit to Sydney and Canberra, President Biden is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Albanese. The agenda will encompass discussions on the enduring friendship between the two nations, as well as their shared commitment to advancing global climate goals, particularly in elevating global climate ambition. Moreover, the leaders are expected to explore avenues for supporting global economic growth, job creation, and the transition to affordable, secure, and reliable clean energy during the ongoing clean energy revolution.
President Biden’s visit comes on the heels of Prime Minister Albanese’s trip to the United States in March, during which the details of Australia’s plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS agreement with the US and UK were unveiled. Additionally, Prime Minister Albanese anticipates another bilateral meeting with President Biden later this year, although the specifics of that trip are yet to be announced.
Expressing his honor to host President Biden, Prime Minister Modi, and Prime Minister Kishida, Prime Minister Albanese also expressed his excitement to host the Quad Leaders’ Summit, marking a momentous occasion as the largest and most significant gathering in Australia since the hosting of the G20 a decade ago. Furthermore, Prime Minister Albanese will hold separate bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Kishida before the Quad summit, with discussions centered around enhancing Australia’s relations with India through trade, investment, defense, security, and people-to-people ties. These meetings will underscore the shared commitment to fostering an open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
Prime Minister Albanese’s meeting with Prime Minister Kishida will mark their seventh bilateral discussion, wherein they will reaffirm their dedication to free trade, democracy, human rights, and the preservation of the rules-based order. The Quad security dialogue, recognized as a collective effort by the four democratic member nations, serves as a mechanism to counterbalance China’s expanding influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Quad summit on May 24 holds significant importance as Australia assumes the role of the host nation for the first time, following Prime Minister Albanese’s attendance at an earlier summit in Tokyo in May last year shortly after assuming office. Key items on the leaders’ agenda include discussions on inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, energy policy, and strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific region.
Prior to the Quad summit in Sydney, Prime Minister Albanese is scheduled to visit Japan from May 19 to 21 to participate in the G7 leaders’ summit in Hiroshima, an invitation extended by Prime Minister Kishida.