Anthony Albanese presented Boris Johnson with a South Sydney Rabbitohs jacket during the pair’s “breakfast meeting” held on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Spain.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese gifted his UK counterpart Boris Johnson with a jacket from his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs as the two leaders met face-to-face for the first time since May’s Federal Election.
Mr Albanese presented Mr Johnson with the jacket as the pair held a “breakfast meeting” on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain.
The Australian leader said he discussed the new trilateral defence and security pact between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom with Mr Johnson.
“I spoke about AUKUS and our support for AUKUS, as well the Australia UK Free Trade Agreement which we hope to come into effect later this year, but also the important relations that we have between our two nations,” Mr Albanese told reporters.
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Mr Johnson had expressed his gratitude for the support Australia has given to Ukraine, which has included $285 million in military equipment and $65 million of humanitarian support.
“What a wonderful thing it is to see you here in NATO. What a progressive development for our alliance,” he said as the pair shook hands and took photos.
“Thank you particularly for the incredible strength that Australia has shown in Ukraine. You’ve really stepped up to the plate.”
The meeting with Mr Johnson was a number of discussions Mr Albanese held with world leaders while in Madrid for the summit, which he has been attending after Australia was invited as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner.
Mr Albanese has also spoken with the prime ministers of Belgium and Spain, the Secretary General of NATO, the presidents of the European Commission and European Council and had a “very constructive discussion” with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“Last night was a real opportunity for Australia to engage in a less than formal setting with a range of people from President Macron, President Biden, Olaf Scholz, a range of the leaders who were there,” he said.
“I took the opportunity to talk about Australia’s national interest, to talk about our different plans. One of the things that is clear to me is that the whole world has noticed that Australia has a different position on climate change.
“What that does is give Australia a seat at the global table of opportunity and I intend to seize that opportunity.”
While in Spain for the NATO summit, Mr Albanese lashed out at China for their failure to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“What we saw is prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we saw a without limits partnership between Russia and China,” he said.
“We’ve seen a failure of China to condemn any of the Russian aggression that has occurred against Ukraine.
“China must look at what is happening and look at the resolve that is there from throughout the world and should be condemning Russia’s actions.”
Meanwhile, NATO for the first time declared China a “challenge” ahead of its expansion after formally inviting two nations to join the alliance – Sweden and Finland.