US President Joe Biden has put in a long distance call to congratulate incoming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on seizing Australia’s top job.
In a statement released by the White House, Mr Biden is said to have applauded the Labor Leader’s election victory and underlined the strength of their countries’ alliance.
“President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ steadfast commitment to the US-Australia alliance and his intent to work closely with the new government to make it stronger still,” the statement read.
“President Biden expressed deep appreciation for the Prime Minister-designate’s own early commitment to the alliance, reflected in his decision to travel almost immediately to Tokyo to attend the Quad summit.”
Posting on Twitter on Sunday night, Mr Albanese flagged his conversation with his soon-to-be US counterpart.
“Good to speak with @POTUS today and reaffirm the long-standing alliance between our two countries. I look forward to continuing our conversation in Tokyo on Tuesday,” he wrote.
Good to speak with @POTUS today and reaffirm the long-standing alliance between our two countries.
I look forward to continuing our conversation in Tokyo on Tuesday.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) May 22, 2022
The White House praised Mr Albanese for deciding to make the trip, saying the Quad is “a vital opportunity to exchange views and continue to drive practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.”
World Leaders to converge on Japan for top-tier meeting
It will be straight to work for Mr Albanese, who will fly to Japan later on Monday for a meeting of the Quad regional security alliance.
On Tuesday, he will meet with President Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Mr Albanese and his Foreign Minister Penny Wong are set to put forward a package including $470 million in foreign aid over four years for South-East Asia along with a special envoy for the region.
Albo to be sworn in to Australia’s top job
But first things first, Mr Albanese needs to be officially sworn in as the country’s 31st Prime Minister.
In one of the swiftest changes of government in Australian history, the Leader of the Labor party will formally take the reins on Monday morning.
In a very brief swearing in ceremony at Government House in Canberra, Mr Albanese will be joined by Ms Wong, Deputy Labor Leader Richard Marles and Labor’s economics team of Katy Gallagher and Jim Chalmers.
In order for Mr Albanese and Ms Wong to make the trip to Tokyo, the small group will divide the ministerial portfolios between them before the full ministry is sworn in later this month.
Governor-General David Hurley will do the honours.
Speaking outside his house in Sydney’s inner west on Monday morning, Mr Albanese remarked on the historic day, not just for himself but for all Australians.
“It’s a big day in my life. But a big day for the country, when we change the government,” he told reporters.
After officially taking on the top job, the man who grew up in a housing estate in Sydney’s inner west will have the choice of making either the Lodge in Canberra or Kirribilli House in Sydney his permanent address.
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