Quad meet cancelled as Biden postpones Sydney visit amidst US debt crisis

The Quad meeting, which was set to bring together the leaders of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States, will not take place next week

NEW DELHI | Updated: 17 May, 2023 2:32 pm IST
The Quad is an informal group that promotes an open Indo-Pacific. (file photo)

NEW DELHI: The upcoming Quad leaders meeting in Sydney will not proceed as planned, said PM Anthony Albanese following the cancellation of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Australia.

The Quad meeting, which was set to bring together the leaders of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States, will not take place next week.

“The Quad leaders meeting will not be taking place in Sydney next week. However, we will still have discussions between Quad leaders in Japan. A bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi may still proceed,” Albanese told media persons.

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Albanese did not comment on whether Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would still visit Sydney next week, and official confirmations from all three countries are still pending. The Quad is an informal group that promotes an open Indo-Pacific.

In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden will return to Washington after attending G7 summit in Japan’s Hiroshima “in order to be back for meetings with Congressional leaders to ensure that Congress takes action by the deadline to avert default”.

“The President spoke to Prime Minister Albanese earlier today to inform him that he will be postponing his trip to Australia. He also invited the Prime Minister for an official state visit at a time to be agreed upon by both teams,” the statement reads.

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Instead, the leaders of Australia, the United States, India, and Japan will convene at the G7 Summit in Japan this weekend. Although India and Australia are not part of the group of seven rich nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, they have been invited to attend the summit.

“The Quad is an important forum, and we want to ensure that it occurs at the leadership level. We will continue discussions over the weekend,” PM Albanese emphasized.

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The US said that it looks forward to “finding alternative ways to engage with Australia, the Quad, Papua New Guinea, and the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum in the coming year”.

The situation in the US is volatile, with domestic and political crises, including the debt ceiling crisis, causing an impasse.

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