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Friday, Feb 23, 2024

Joe Biden Cancels Post-G7 Asia Tour Amid Debt Crisis: Sources

Joe Biden Cancels Post-G7 Asia Tour Amid Debt Crisis: Sources

Joe Biden has cancelled planned stops in Australia and Papua New Guinea, but still intends to attend the upcoming G7 meeting in Japan.
US President Joe Biden cut back a major upcoming trip to Asia and will return to Washington early for talks to avert a potentially catastrophic debt default, the White House said Tuesday.

Biden flies to Japan on Wednesday for a G7 summit, but subsequent stops in Papua New Guinea and Australia were scrapped to deal with the domestic stand-off over raising US borrowing limits.

"President Biden will return to the United States on Sunday, following the completion of the G7 summit, in order to be back for meetings with Congressional leaders to ensure that Congress takes action by the deadline to avert default," the White House said in a statement.

"The President and his team will continue to work with Congressional leadership to deliver a budget agreement that can reach the President's desk."

After the G7 summit, Biden was due to attend a Quad leaders' meeting in Sydney, bringing together the United States, Australia, Japan and India.

But the White House said that Biden had called Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to inform him the visit was canceled, and had invited him for state visit to Washington at an undecided date.

The US president was also scheduled to visit Papua New Guinea on a "historic" first trip for a sitting US president, as Washington vies with Beijing for influence in the region.

The South Pacific was seen as a diplomatic backwater after World War II, but it is an increasingly important arena for powers to compete for commercial, political and military influence.
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