Australia’s “iron-clad” support of peace and sovereignty in Europe underscores its approach to the Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will declare.
In an address to a NATO Public Forum event in Madrid on Wednesday local time, Mr Albanese will vow that under his Labor government Australia will defend values respecting international laws and territorial integrity.
“By supporting peace and sovereignty in Europe, we are underscoring our iron-clad commitment to these norms in our own region, the Indo-Pacific,” he will say.
“We recognise there is strategic competition in our region, and Australia is not afraid to stand up with all the countries of our region for an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
“It will be through Australia’s actions that you will see our resolve.
“We will deal with this issue in a mature way, with firmness and resolution.”
Mr Albanese will praise NATO alliance members for their “inspiring” responses to Russia after its “brutal” and “unjustified” invasion of Ukraine.
“We mourn the loss of these innocent lives, and we condemn Russia’s reckless disregard for the global norms that all democracies cherish,” he will say.
The prime minister will tell the alliance Australia is “invested for the long-term” in the NATO relationship.
This year’s NATO summit is the biggest ever held and the “Asia-Pacific Four” – including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea – have been invited to attend for the first time.
Mr Albanese will hold talks with those country’s leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
He will also have a one-on-one with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a packed day of discussions.
A new strategy outlining NATO’s priorities over the next decade will be decided at the summit and leaders will also address the “challenge” of a more assertive China.
The prime minister will also meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Mr Albanese flies to Paris later this week to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, in a bid to patch up Australia’s relationship with France after Australia last year dumped a $90 billion submarine deal with France’s Naval Group.
Mr Albanese is yet to confirm whether he will visit Ukraine, following an invitation by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to travel to Kyiv, with security assessments still underway.
Mr Albanese on Tuesday local time held one-on-one meetings with South Korean President Yoon Seok-youl and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in Madrid.
Meeting Mr Yoon for the first time, the prime minister smiled and shook his hand, congratulating the Korean leader on his recent election victory.
“We are both new in our jobs,” Mr Albanese said.
In a brief opening statement, Mr Yoon said both countries had new governments, and he looked forward to strengthening ties between Korea and Australia.
Mr Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon also attended a NATO gala dinner the night before the summit’s main event, which was hosted by the King and Queen of Spain.