News National Scott Morrison and Joe Biden discuss COVID-19 and climate in first call
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Scott Morrison and Joe Biden discuss COVID-19 and climate in first call

Scott Morrison spoke to Joe Biden for the first time since the latter became US President. Photos: Reuters, ABC News/Luke Stephenson
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated the importance of Australia’s alliance with the US in his first call to President Joe Biden.

Mr Morrison described the conversation as warm and engaging after speaking with Mr Biden on Thursday morning.

“He sees the Australia-US relationship as providing the anchor for peace and security in our region,” he said.

“We share that view. In terms of our relations between Australia and the United States, there’s nothing to fix there, only things to build on.”

The two leaders last spoke shortly after Mr Biden’s presidential election win.

On Thursday, they also discussed climate change action, with the US committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – unlike Australia.

Mr Morrison said it was a “positive discussion about the path we’re on” when asked if Mr Biden had asked Australia to set more ambitious climate targets.

The Prime Minister would not be drawn on whether China was discussed in the call. However, later Mr Biden’s team released a statement saying the chat had included “dealing with China”.

“As you would expect, we discussed regional issues in the Indo-Pacific,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Biden’s team also said the duo agreed “to work together, alongside other allies and partners, to hold to account those responsible for the coup in Burma (Myanmar)”.

“The leaders affirmed their commitment to working together to advance our shared values, global security and prosperity,” the President’s statement said.

Mr Morrison invited Mr Biden to visit Australia for the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty later in 2021.

-with agencies