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Joe Biden speaks with Australian PM Morrison, discusses Afghanistan, Quad

News Agencies | Updated on: 3 September 2021, 8:55 IST

US President Joe Biden spoke with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday and thanked him for the close coordination on Afghanistan and affirmed plans for the upcoming in-person Quad Leaders Summit.

"President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia. Together they celebrated the 70th anniversary of the U.S. alliance with Australia," the White House readout said.

This call comes in the backdrop of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and the fall of the democratically elected government. The US has taken in almost 24,000 Afghans at risk as part of evacuations from Afghanistan.

In total, 124,000 people were brought to the US or to third countries from Afghanistan before the completion of its troop withdrawal on August 30.

Besides Afghanistan, Biden and Morrison affirmed plans for an in-person Quad Leaders Summit later this fall. Earlier, the Biden administration had proposed the first in-person "Quad" meeting with leaders of India, Japan and Australia in late September.

This meeting would mark unity among the four Indo-Pacific democracies amid China's growing assertiveness, President Biden is seeking to build "a position of strength" to directly engage with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This meeting is scheduled to take place after the general debate of the UN General Assembly, which is to be held in September in New York City.


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First published: 3 September 2021, 8:55 IST