CANBERRA (Australia) -- Australia's new Prime minister Anthony Albanese met with leaders from the United States, India and Japan during his busy two weeks in office. But he will be receiving a world leader when Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, visits Sydney on Thursday.
Ardern described the close-neighboring countries' bilateral relationships, which were once part of the same British colony as "like family."
Ardern stated Tuesday that "It's fitting" that he was New Zealand's prime Minister and would be the first foreign head to meet Prime Minister Albanese in Australia since his election.
Ardern is the leader of New Zealand's Labour Party. This party is closer to Albanese's left-leaning Australian Labor Party that it was with Australia’s conservative coalition, which had ruled for nearly a decade.
Ardern will be visiting Albanese's hometown on Thursday and Friday to discuss Australia's ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets and support for Pacific Island countries.
Both Australia and New Zealand warned against any new security agreement between China, Solomon Islands and New Zealand that could lead to a Chinese military base in the South Pacific. China and Solomons deny that any military base will be established.
A fledgling Australian government is attempting to deal with domestic issues, including the pandemic and soaring inflation, but has not given international relations such priority.
Albanese and Penny Wong, his Foreign Minister, flew to Tokyo to confront the growing threat from China on May 23, just hours after their swearing-in ceremony and two days after the election. They were accompanied by President Joe Biden, Fumio Kishida, the Japanese Prime Minister, and Narendra Modi (Indian Prime Minister) at a security summit.
Wong traveled from Japan to South Pacific to visit her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. This coincided with Beijing's recent tour.
Wong and Albanese ended Tuesday's visit to Indonesia. Albanese is a neighboring country Australia's leaders often visit during their administration to emphasize the importance of bilateral relations.