Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during an event. File photo
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday departed to the United States for the first face-face meeting of the Quad Leaders Summit..
Morrison boarded a Royal Australian Airforce plane at Sydney Airport to meet with leaders of the Quad grouping amid criticism over his government's decision to abandon a $40 billion submarine deal with France.
Australia last week said it would scrap a deal with France's Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and would instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology after striking a trilateral security partnership.
The White House meeting of the leaders of the US, Australia, India and Japan comes to discuss COVID-19, climate change and regional security, senior Morrison government official said to the media.
Scott Morrison boards a Royal Australian Airforce plane to make a trip to the US in Sydney on Monday. Reuters
France has said the relationship with Australia and the United States is in "crisis" and has recalled its ambassadors from both countries.
While Australia has moved to dampen tensions, expressing its regret over the incident, Morrison's meeting with fellow Quad leaders British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden threatens to inflame French irritation.
"The French are very unimpressed and the sight of Morrison, Biden and Johnson together will do little to repair ties," said Haydon Manning, a political science professor at Flinders University in South Australia.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will also attend the leaders’ meeting of the Quad group later this week.
Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday at a meeting with the US and other diplomats that their “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” initiative, a concept to counter China’s growing assertiveness, is more important than ever
US and Indian trade negotiators ended talks on Friday without making major progress on a range of disputes over tariffs and other protectionist measures imposed by both sides that are straining bilateral ties,
As optimism grows that the United States and China are nearing a trade deal, Japan kicks off its own negotiations with Washington from Monday, hoping to resolve some of the issues «very quickly.» US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan›s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi
The development came as Belarus said it had intercepted missiles fired by Kyiv and Russia reported that Ukraine launched three cluster missiles at Belgorod, killing four people.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Sunday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
Sheikh Mohamed expressed his sympathies and wished the injured a speedy recovery.