Less than six weeks after assuming the highest post in the country, Anthony Albanese has traveled the world to consolidate international relations.
Anthony Albanese is due back in Australia on Wednesday morning, wrapping up a whirlwind week in Europe.
It’s the third trip abroad he’s made since taking the top spot in the country just over 40 days ago.
Between himself, his deputy prime minister and his foreign minister, the trio visited more than a dozen countries, seeking to strengthen relations and assert the new government’s regional dominance.
Within 48 hours of his predecessor Scott Morrison’s defeat, Australia’s 31st prime minister was in Tokyo for the Quad meeting, where he met with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr Biden was so impressed by Mr Albanese’s presence so soon after the election that he told him he would have given him a pass to fall asleep at the table.
“You took an oath, you got on a plane, and if you fall asleep while you’re here, that’s fine. I don’t know how you do it,” Biden said at the time.
Mr Albanese said his government was “committed to working with your countries”.
That same commitment to working with other countries extended to Indonesia, where he traveled just over two weeks later for the annual leaders’ meeting.
Indonesia was the first Indo-Pacific country visited by Mr. Albanese as prime minister.
He said Australia’s relationship with Indonesia needed to be strengthened in the face of escalating tensions caused by China’s growing assertiveness in the region.
With Senator Penny Wong at his side, the pair went on a two-day diplomatic trip to forge a “critical” partnership with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Mr. Albanese visited Mr. Widodo at the Bogor Palace, where the two men took a bike ride through the park to discuss the war in Ukraine, regional cooperation and the rise of China.
While in Indonesia, Mr. Albanese also became the first prime minister to visit the port city of Makassar.
Just weeks after returning to Australia, Mr Albanese embarked on his third trip, this time to Europe, via a short stopover in the United Arab Emirates.
First up was Spain for the NATO summit in Madrid which Australia had been invited to attend alongside other Indo-Pacific leaders such as New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. South.
The presence of the P4 leaders was essential given NATO’s unprecedented decision to condemn China as a “serious challenge” to global stability.
In a speech to other world leaders, Mr Albanese used his time in Madrid to say Australia had been “economically constrained” by China.
“Just as Russia seeks to recreate a Russian or Soviet empire, the Chinese government seeks friends, whether…through economic support to build alliances to undermine what has historically been the alliance west in places like the Indo-Pacific,” he said. said.
While in Madrid, Mr. Albanese had one-on-ones with the likes of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and NATO. General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
Mr Albanese then flew to Paris for a much-anticipated meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in a bid to make peace after the Morrison government broke a submarine deal.
Mr Albanese declared a ‘new chapter’ in Australia’s relationship with France and said he would prioritize ‘trust, respect and honesty’.
Mr Macron said Mr Albanese “was not responsible” for what happened with the previous government, and said the couple had spoken about “the future, not the past”.
“All this marks our desire to rebuild a relationship based on trust between our two countries, based on mutual respect… but also a relationship based on a strategic and historic partnership,” Macron said.
Mr Albanese then quietly made his way to Ukraine, with the Australian roving media given a strict embargo not to report on his trip until he had safely returned to Poland.
However, the governor of Kyiv and world media published his location while he was in the capital.
While in Ukraine, Mr. Albanese visited hard-hit civilian areas where he once again condemned Russia for its unjustified war.
Mr. Albanese then met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and pledged an additional $100 million in aid.
Mr Albanese will return to Australia via a quick stopover in Italy on Monday before traveling to Fiji next week for the Pacific Islands Forum.
Later this year, Mr. Albanese will return to Indonesia for the G20.