Blinken lands in Australia ahead of Indo-Pacific meeting

The US Secretary of State will meet with Australian, Indian and Japanese counterparts as tensions with Russia escalate



By AP

Published: Wed 9 Feb 2022, 1:08 PM

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and key allies are “voting with their feet” by flying to Australia to focus on challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Blinken landed in the Australian city of Melbourne on Wednesday ahead of a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne as well as their Indian and Japanese counterparts who form the so-called “Quad.”

It will be the fourth such ministerial-level meeting of a bloc of Indo-Pacific democracies created to counter China and Blinken’s arrival makes him the most senior member of the Biden administration to set foot in Australia.

The visit comes as tensions between Washington and Moscow continue to escalate over Ukraine.

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Payne said the gathering sends a message to Beijing that the security in the Indo-Pacific remains an important challenge to Washington.

The Quad ministers were “voting with their feet in terms of the priority that they accord to issues” important to the Indo-Pacific, said Payne, who will host the meeting Friday.


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