PM Morison holds warm and engaging call with Biden

PM Scott Morrison

PM Scott Morrison, I had a very warm and engaging call with Joe Biden. And we appreciated the opportunity to have that conversation in an early phase, amongst the many nations that have been engaged with early on in that process. As he said to me again today, he sees the Australia-US relationship as providing the anchor for peace and security in our region. And that is true. We share that view. In terms of our relations between Australia and the United States, there's nothing to fix there, only things to build on, and we intend to do just that. We talked about the stewardship we share, A stewardship that has been held by prime ministers and presidents over a very long time, and particularly this year. Some 70 years of the ANZUS Alliance that we will celebrate in September of this year. I spoke to former prime minister Howard when we were at Doug Anthony's funeral the other day, and he reminded me that it was 20 years ago in September, when he was in the United States to address the Congress on the 50th anniversary of ANZUS and, of course, while he was there, it was September 11. And so we spoke about that today, remembering that it is 20 years since September 11. And we stood with the United States then, as we always have and always will. We spoke of the fact that Australia looks to the United States, but we never leave it to the United States. We do our share of the heavy lifting in this relationship, and that is absolutely respected by the President and appreciated. And so a very warm call.

So, we affirmed our commitment to the things that absolutely always matter - those relationships, particularly the alliance relationships, but also the Five Eyes relationships and the broadening of that agenda on the Five Eyes. The Quad relationship, a high priority for the Biden Administration as it works with Australia and its partners within the region. And what we refer to now as the G7-Plus dialogue. Australia is not a member of the G7, but that's not the point. We have now been invited on three occasions while I have been Prime Minister, and there have been other occasions in the past. And that G7-Plus dialogue enables a broader discussion of issues amongst like-mindeds, liberal democracies, market-based economies, and this is a very positive move and deals with everything from technology, partnerships, supply chains, the security of those, the economic recovery, COVID issues, and cooperation. So, we will continue to work together on the key global and regional challenges in the Indo-Pacific, and there is an absolute affirmation and understanding that we are in this together, we are absolutely in this together. Whether it's on COVID and whether it's on the economic recovery, global and regional security issues, the multilateral initiatives and reforms that we are partnering in, but also, as we discussed today, achieving a net-zero pathway through technology, and the cooperation that is needed to do that, and the work that has already begun from the discussion between Special Envoy Secretary Kerry and Minister Taylor, we picked that up today and we're very keen on pursuing that relationship and the technology partnership. And I had the opportunity to discuss how the United States, and as Secretary Kerry said the other day and I said it in the Parliament, that it is a game-changing statement to understand that our goal is global emissions, not just emissions in some countries. Global emissions reduction, and that is how you solve the problem. And so appreciated their leadership there.

So, a very warm and engaging conversation. We're looking forward to further engagements over the course of this year. Again, he was invited to join us for the celebration of the 70 years of ANZUS. He told me he needs no special reason to come to Australia, he loves the place. But they would very much like to be in Australia at some point, and we'll see how that progresses. But a very keen enthusiasm to come back to Australia, which he knows so well, with Dr Biden and, of course, the other summits and various things coming up over the first half of this year. So, that was the very warm and engaging call that we had between myself and President Biden.

PM Morrison full press Video Conference below

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