Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will soon travel to the United States to meet with President Joe Biden amid reports the two leaders will unveil details of a trilateral defense pact among Australia, Britain and the U.S. first announced in 2021.
Prime Minister Albanese told reporters Wednesday before departing for India that he will travel to the U.S. after his three-day visit to the South Asian nation. But he would not confirm a report in The Sydney Morning Herald that he, Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will meet in San Diego next Monday to unveil details of the pact.
The new partnership, known by the acronym AUKUS, will allow the three countries to share information and expertise more easily in key technological areas such artificial intelligence, cybertechnology, quantum technologies, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities. The agreement also includes the building of a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.
Analysts say the trilateral pact is an effort by the Western allies to blunt China’s increasingly aggressive military presence in the Pacific region.
China has denounced the agreement, saying it would seriously undermine “regional peace and stability.”
The agreement also angered France, which had a deal to sell Australia a dozen diesel-electric powered submarines for up to $66 billion.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.