- Sputnik International, 1920
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Australian Prime Minister Refuses to Attend NATO Summit in Washington Next Week - Reports

NATO flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.07.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has decided to skip the upcoming NATO summit in Washington and send a delegation led by Defense Minister Richard Marles, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The decision was reportedly made after Albanese has not received a confirmation for a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden ahead of the summit. The prime minister's office advised him not to go at all in order to avoid controversies, the newspaper reported.
Initially, Albanese was expected to hold meetings with his counterparts from Japan, South Korea and New Zealand within the Indo-Pacific Four on the sidelines of the summit.
Albanese's presence at two previous summits, in Madrid in 2022 and Vilnius in 2023, drew sharp criticism from Beijing, as well as from former prime minister Paul Keating and former foreign minister Bob Carr. They argued that the US and European countries should not interfere in the affairs of Indo-Pacific countries.
The 75th NATO summit will take place from July 9-11.
U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers, F-16 fighter jets, South Korean Air Force F-15K fighter jets and Japanese Air Force F-2 fighter jets fly over South Korea's southern island of Jeju during a joint air drill, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023  in a show of force against North Korea. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.06.2024
North Korea Accuses US, Japan, South Korea of Creating 'Asian Version of NATO'
On June 17, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he had invited partners from the Indo-Pacific region to the alliance's upcoming summit in Washington. NATO consists of 32 member countries, but it also maintains relations with more than 40 non-member states and international organizations — NATO partners — including Australia.
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