Rishi welcomes Prime Ministers from Down Under to Downing Street

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia for a bilateral meeting in 10 Downing Street. Picture by Alice Hodgson / No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has welcomed Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins to Downing Street today ahead of His Majesty The King’s Coronation tomorrow.

The Australian leader reflected on the strength of the UK-Australia relationship, across defence, security and trade, and agreed it was driving economic growth and creating jobs across both countries.

Both Rishi Sunak and Anthony Albanese welcomed the opportunities the Free Trade Agreement would also bring for young Australian and British workers through the new mobility scheme, which would extend visa lengths and lift age barriers.

Photo: The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosts the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese in 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

PM Rishi Sunak welcomed Australia’s new Defence Strategic Review and the leaders agreed on the importance of democracies working together to diversify supply chains and improve economic resilience.

The leaders looked forward to seeing each other at the G7 later this month and a summer of strong sporting rivalry between the UK and Australia during The Ashes and FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins welcomed the announcement that New Zealand and the UK’s Free Trade Agreement would come into force this month, agreeing it would unlock huge trading potential for both countries.

Photo: The Prime Minister served sausage rolls to the New Zealand delegation accompanied by tomato sauce brought by the New Zealand Prime Minister. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

Reflecting on strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific, the leaders discussed the UK and New Zealand’s shared commitment to uphold stability in the region and how both countries could work closely with partners to improve economic resilience.

The Prime Minister thanked Prime Minister Hipkins for New Zealand’s strong commitment to Ukraine and the leaders discussed New Zealand’s contribution to Operation Interflex.

The tangible support offered by New Zealand through that programme was clearly making a difference on the battlefield in Ukraine, the Prime Minister said, welcoming Prime Minister Hipkin’s commitment to extend New Zealand’s training through to 2024.

The leaders also discussed the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will be hosted in Samoa in 2024, and looked forward to working closely with Pacific partners to deliver a successful summit.

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