U.S. President Joe Biden (R) will host Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for a state visit in October. File Photo by Australian PM Press Office/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 10 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden will host Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for an official state visit in October, the White House said late Wednesday, as the two countries bolster their relationship amid growing tensions with China.
"The visit will underscore the deep and enduring alliance between the United States and Australia and the two nations' shared commitment to supporting an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
"President Biden and Prime Minister Albanese will discuss strengthening collaboration on critical issues for both nations in order to ensure the alliance is well equipped to respond to ever-evolving regional and global challenges."
Albanese's office said Thursday that the visit will be from Oct. 23 to 26, with the trip being his first official visit to Washington since he was sworn into office last may.
"I am honored to accept President Biden's invitation to undertake an official visit to Washington, D.C.," he said in a statement.
"My visit is an important opportunity to discuss our ambitious climate and clean energy transition, and shared goal of a strong, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific."
The announcement comes months after Biden canceled a visit to Australia during his trip to Asia late May over a worsening crisis at home as House Republicans were threatening to let the United States default on its financial responsibilities unless the White House pulled back on Democratic spending.
The ending of his trip also shelved a so-called Quad summit planned during for his visit.
Biden has cultivated the U.S.-Australia relationship during his presidency with focus on the Quad alliance that also includes India and Japan as global competition with China deepens.
Less than two weeks ago, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Brisbane declared the U.S.-Australia relationship has "never been stronger" while stating they will continue to help Canberra enhance capabilities at some of its northern military bases.
In March, the United States, Britain and Australia announced plans to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to counter Chinese naval forces in the Pacific.
Albanese's office described the U.S.-Australia relationship as "unique in scale, scope and significance" and that the state visit will be an opportunity for the two leaders to strengthen that bond.
Discussions expected to be had besides China include climate change and other aspects involved in their Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact that they agreed to in May.
Biden has hosted several other world leaders for state visits, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in April and French President Emmanuel Macron in December.