Scott Morrison leaves Australia to meet with Joe Biden in week-long visit to United States

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Lanai ScarrThe West Australian
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet with US President Joe Biden tomorrow in New York for his first one-on-one meeting with the leader.
Camera IconPrime Minister Scott Morrison will meet with US President Joe Biden tomorrow in New York for his first one-on-one meeting with the leader. Credit: Oliver Contreras / POOL/EPA

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has left Australia for a week-long visit to the United States.

Mr Morrison will meet with US President Joe Biden tomorrow in New York for his first one-on-one meeting with the leader.

Leaving Sydney this morning Mr Morrison said his trip was about securing partnerships to keep Australians safe.

“There is no more important responsibility of any prime minister or any federal government than to keep Australians safe, he said.

“We've worked together over many years to countenance the threat of terrorism here on our own shores.

“Working with partners all around the world and an increasingly uncertain world is our responsibility to ensure we keep Australians safe and we're able to ensure that we can pursue our national interests and the peace and stability of our region.”

Mr Morrison highlighted the importance of Defence spending and ties after the announcement of AUKUS and a nuclear submarine deal last week.

“Since coming to Government, we have lifted Australia's defence effort. We have lifted it from a point which was lower than where it was before the Second World War, to over two per cent of our national GDP, the size of our economy,” Mr Morrison said.

“In doing that, we have sent a very clear message that Australia will always look to others, but we will never have to leave it to others. That we'll be able to sit at the table with our partners and our friends to create a more secure and more stable world, particularly here in the Indo-Pacific.”

He said the peace and freedom of the Indo-Pacific was paramount.

“So I look forward to having these engagements. They're very important, as we follow on from the significant announcement we made last week with our American and British friends,” he said.

“But it's also about engaging with so many more who uphold the cause of peace and freedom. So I look forward to those meetings. And as always, my job is to keep Australians safe.”

Mr Morrison will also meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Washington.

It is expected the Quad leaders, who met virtually in March, will announce partnerships in the areas of COVID-19 vaccines production and supply, climate, and critical and emerging technologies.

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