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Australian Prime Minister Heads to NATO Talks in Spain 


Workers paste the posters announcing the NATO Summit outside the Madrid Fair before a NATO summit in Madrid, June 27, 2022.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is flying to Spain to attend this year’s NATO meeting as leaders attempt to tackle the growing threat posed by global instability.

The Australian prime minister will join his counterparts from New Zealand, Japan and South Korea for the largest-ever NATO summit.

Though all four countries are not members of the world’s largest defense pact, they bring an Indo-Pacific perspective to global insecurity.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be a key focus of the meeting in Madrid, Spain.

Analysts believe that NATO will harden its stance toward China over its refusal to condemn Russia for its war in Ukraine. Beijing is eager to cement its ties with Moscow, but it also wants to maintain its relationships with the West.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese Anthony Albanese is traveling to Europe for the first time since forming government in May.

He said it was crucial that democratic nations stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

FILE - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends the Quad leaders’ summit, in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022.
FILE - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends the Quad leaders’ summit, in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022.

“We live in an uncertain world and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has upset the norms that we regarded that the rule of law would be maintained," he said. "It is also the case that Russia and China, their arrangements, and the closeness that has occurred in recent times means that it is also very important for our region.”

Australia is eager to limit China’s security and trade ambitions in the Pacific, a region Canberra has traditionally considered its sphere of influence.

Over the weekend, Australia joined the U.S., Britain, New Zealand and Japan to launch an initiative to help Pacific Island nations.

The “Partners in Blue Pacific” project aims to help them combat issues from climate change to illegal fishing.

Analysts believe it also signals a united front between Australia and its allies to counter China’s regional ambitions.

The “Partners in Blue Pacific” project aims to help them combat issues from climate change to illegal fishing.

Analysts believe it also signals a united front between Australia and its allies to counter China’s regional ambitions.

Relations between Canberra and Beijing have deteriorated in recent years over geopolitical disputes, such as human rights, democracy in Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.

The recently elected government in Canberra has said that re-setting relations with China was a priority, but that it would take time.

The NATO summit in Spain will start on June 29.

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