Washington, Oct 24 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden received Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House on Tuesday at the start of his two-day state visit to the US.
US President Joe Biden (C-R) and First Lady Jill Biden (R) welcome Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (C-L) and Jodie Haydon (L) to the White House in Washington, DC, US, on 24 October 2023. EFE-EPA/BONNIE CASH/POOL
Albanese’s visit to Washington comes after Biden was forced to cancel a trip to Australia after the G7 summit in Japan in mid-May due to an impasse between Democrats and Republicans on the debt ceiling.
The Australian arrived in Washington on Sunday and visited the Arlington National Cemetery the following day.
His official agenda began on Tuesday with an event at the Australian embassy in the US capital and a visit to the White House.
The big day, however, will be Wednesday, when an official welcome ceremony, a bilateral meeting with Biden, a press conference and the banquet dinner will take place.
On Tuesday, US tech giant Microsoft announced an investment of about AU$5 billion (over $3 billion) in Australian artificial intelligence and cloud computing, which includes the creation of nine new data centers in the country.
“This significant increase in capacity will enable Australia to capitalize on the economic and productivity opportunities presented by AI technology ,” Albanese said during a press briefing at the Australian embassy in Washington.
The Australian leader’s visit to the US comes as Washington seeks to strengthen its relations with several Indo-Pacific countries in an effort to counter China’s influence.
“President Biden and Prime Minister Albanese will discuss how they can enhance defense cooperation, including trilaterally with Japan,” White House Senior Director for East Asia and Oceania Mira Rapp-Hooper said at a press conference on Tuesday.
In addition, both countries will announce new projects in areas such as technology cooperation, the space sector, and the fight against climate change, she added.EFE