Iran president in Oman
Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi has arrived in Oman on an official visit, where an expansion of bilateral cooperation tops the agenda. Raeisi was welcomed by Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik upon arrival at his official al-Alam Palace. The president said before his departure for Muscat that Iran and Oman are determined to upgrade their already close political and economic ties. Raeisi noted that the two sides will sign several memoranda of understanding during his visit. These, he said, will mainly focus on transportation, energy, and tourism. Raeisi's government is pursuing a policy of strengthening relations with neighboring countries.
US President Joe Biden says the country will defend Taiwan militarily if Beijing invades the self-ruled island, warning China is flirting with danger. The US president said Washington agrees with the One China policy, but the idea that China can forcibly take control of Taiwan is inappropriate. Biden made the comments in a news conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following their meeting. A white House statement said Biden and Kishida committed to working closely to counter China’s growing influence in Asia. The statement said Biden had endorsed Japan’s plan to beef up its defense capabilities. Biden is on his first trip to Asia since taking office. The cornerstone of Biden's visit will be the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework involving Japan, India, and Australia. That’s a broad plan providing an economic pillar for US engagement with Asia.
New Australia PM sworn in
In Australia, Labor leader Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as prime minister, ending nearly a decade of conservative-led rule in the country. Albanese and four of his ministers took the oath of office after his party won the national elections on Saturday. Albanese takes the helm hours before a summit in Tokyo with Japanese, Indian, and US leaders as part of the so-called Quad group. He has said the summit is an absolute priority for his country and an opportunity to send a message of change to the world. He said he wants to make Australia greener and less hawkish in policy terms.