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Biden and Australia’s Albanese Meet in DC to Strengthen Alliance

President Joe Biden discussed national security, climate change and technology with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during a meeting on Wednesday.

“Australia and America stand ready to do the hard work, the historic work, to tackle the challenges we face,” Mr Biden said after the meeting.

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

Their major divergence appeared to be on how to deal with China.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden alongside Mr Albanese, Mr Biden took a strong stance on possible conflict in the South China Sea. Chinese vessels have blocked and rammed ships in the area that belong to the Philippines.

The US president said he wanted “to be very clear” that the American defence commitment to the Philippines was “ironclad”.

Mr Albanese was more reserved, saying his approach toward his neighbour was “to cooperate where we can, disagree where we must, but engage in our national interest”.

Still, they agreed that securing the Indo-Pacific region is a high priority.

With the two leaders speaking from side-by-side lecterns, the event highlighted their countries’ alliance and teemed with pomp and circumstance, with a military band playing and senior US security and diplomatic leaders seated front and centre.

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

Mr Biden is asking Congress for $100bn (£83 bn) to address numerous national security challenges, including Israel and the Indo-Pacific region.

Mr Albanese praised Mr 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 Mr Biden since he became prime minister 16 months ago.

He also said Aukus – the trilateral security agreement between the UK, US and Australia – would ensure “peace and security in our region”.

Source : BBC