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Sydney Quad meeting cancelled

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Sydney Quad meeting cancelled
What Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday referred to as the most significant political meeting to be hosted in Australia in almost a decade has been cancelled, after US President Joe Biden postponed his trip to Australia to prevent what could become an economic crisis in the US.

The potential for economic crisis is being driven by the need for the US Congress to agree to raise its debt ceiling so that the government can access cash to continue to pay its debts, which run to trillions of dollars. It is believed that if an agreement is not reached by June 1, the government will run out of money, which could send the US to enter a recession.

Biden was scheduled to travel to Australia next week to attend a meeting of the Quad, an alliance between Australia, the US, India and Japan, which was set to be held at the Sydney Opera House on May 24. Albanese announced the meeting last month.

Just yesterday, Albanese highlighted the significance of hosting the Quad in Australia during a doorstop interview in Melbourne.

“Hosting the Quad is a big deal for Australia. It’s the largest event that we have had here in this country since the G20 on a political level,” said Albanese.

However, overnight, the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement effectively cancelling the President’s trip to Australia.

“President Biden will return to the United States on Sunday, following the completion of the G7 summit, in order to be back for meetings with Congressional leaders to ensure that Congress takes action by the deadline to avert default,” Jean-Pierre said in the statement.

“Revitalizing and reinvigorating our alliances and advancing partnerships like the Quad remains a key priority for the President. This is vital to our ability to advance our foreign policy goals and better promote global stability and prosperity.”

During a radio interview early this morning, Albanese voiced a hope that the Indian and Japanese leaders might still travel to Australia to meet next week, however at a press conference in far north New South Wales later this morning, he confirmed next week’s meeting had been cancelled.

“The Quad leaders meeting will not be going ahead in Sydney next week,” he said, confirming he would meet with the other three leaders in Japan over the weekend, after Australia was invited despite not being a member of the G7 group of nations.

The cancellation of the meeting is a loss for those in the events industry who were working on delivering what would have been a complex event.

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