A French minister has quipped outgoing prime minister Scott Morrison’s departure “suits me very well”, as the world reacts to Australia’s election results.
The French had some strong parting words over Morrison’s election loss.
“The defeat of Prime Minister Morrison suits me very well,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday (Sunday AEST).
Many other foreign leaders chose to welcome incoming leader Anthony Albanese rather than farewell Morrison.
Albanese is preparing to jet to Toyko this week for talks with leaders from Japan, India and the United States for a meeting of the Quad alliance.
US President Joe Biden was welcoming to his new counterpart, saying he had “called and congratulated” Albanese.
“President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ steadfast commitment to the US-Australia alliance and his intent to work closely with the new government to make it stronger still,” according to a White House readout of the call.
“President Biden expressed deep appreciation for the prime minister-designate’s own early commitment to the alliance, reflected in his decision to travel almost immediately to Tokyo to attend the Quad Summit — a vital opportunity to exchange views and continue to drive practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
“President Biden looks forward to a close partnership between our administrations that will benefit the American people, the Australian people, and the world, starting with consequential meetings in Japan this week.”
Albanese said in a statement he was “honoured to represent Australia at this important forum.”
“Under my government, Australia will continue to work through the Quad to deliver positive and practical initiatives in our region, including on health, security, and climate change,” he said.
“This visit aligns with what the Albanese government sees as the three pillars of Australia’s foreign policy: our alliance with the United States, our engagement with the region, and our support for multilateral forums.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I look forward to working with PM Albanese in the weeks, months and years ahead, as we tackle shared challenges.”
Fiji’s Prime Minister tweeted he was pleased with Albanese’s promise for climate action.
New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern called her new counterpart.
She said “I believe our countries will work even more closely together in these tumultuous times.”
Michael Shoebridge from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said the state of the world means Albanese will have to face issues such as China’s dominance in the Indo-Pacific from the outset.
“Whatever else Mr Albanese is going to do as PM, he has to become a national security prime minister and that’s because of the dangerous world we’re in,” he said.
“He’s going to be tested on what he says and thinks about China.”