Scott Morrison in UK: Pandemic, trade dominate talks with world leaders

Sarah IsonThe West Australian
Prime Minister Scott Morrison arriving in the UK ahead of the G7 Summit.
Camera IconPrime Minister Scott Morrison arriving in the UK ahead of the G7 Summit. Credit: Adam Taylor

Scott Morrison has discussed the COVID pandemic and the growing competition in the Indo-Pacific region while in the UK.

The Prime Minister confirmed he had also discussed free trade agreements with the EU and Britain.

“Over the past two days I … took the opportunity meet up with a number of European leaders, including UK PM Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian PM Mario Draghi and European Council President Charles Michel,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.

“We discussed the situation in the Indo-Pacific, as well as issues around the COVID-19 pandemic, our free trade agreement and working together to find the technology solutions needed to tackle climate change, while keeping people in jobs and keeping the lights on.

“Australia will partner with Germany to invest in a series of new initiatives to accelerate the development of a hydrogen industry, creating new jobs in Australia while reducing emissions.”

Mr Morrison made special mention of his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, which came off the back of senior Australian and Japanese ministers meeting via video chat last week.

“Australia enjoys a close relationship with Japan, built on shared values, and our deep commitment to strengthening a free, open and resilient Indo-Pacific as well as our determination to further collaborate on efforts to achieve decarbonisation and a net zero emissions future,” Mr Morrison said on Facebook.

“We are both firmly of the view a technology-led response is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while also ensuring economic growth and job creation. At our meeting, we committed to jointly support clean, pragmatic energy technologies and initiatives that will help drive the transitions to net zero emissions.”

Cooperation through ASEAN and next month’s Tokyo Olympics were also discussed.

Mr Morrison will meet with Prime Minister Johnson in London and with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on his way back to Australia, where he will quarantine for two weeks on arrival despite being fully vaccinated.

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