Home General News Albanian makes surprise visit to ADF troops in Dubai

Albanian makes surprise visit to ADF troops in Dubai

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has surprisedly visited Australian troops stationed abroad en route to the NATO summit in Madrid.

Mr. Albanian stopped at the United Arab Emirates’ Al Minhad Air Base on Monday en route to Spain.

There are approximately 50 Australian troops stationed at Camp Baird at the base. It is the staging post for Australia’s operations in the Middle East, including last August’s evacuation of thousands of Afghans following the Taliban victory.

Albanian and his partner Jodie Heydon laid a wreath at the camp memorial and had breakfast with members of the Australian Defense Force and embassy staff.Albanian makes surprise visit to ADF troops in Dubai

“I am very simply here to say thank you, thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice, not only from yourself but from your families,” he said.

The Albanian was set to arrive in Madrid on Monday afternoon (local time) for an “absolutely critical” NATO summit, which will discuss aid to Ukraine against Russia after its invasion.

He will be joined for the first time by his colleagues from New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan among the “four Asia-Pacific partners” at the largest NATO summit ever held.

Speaking on the tarmac in Sydney on Sunday before boarding his plane to Europe, Mr. Albanian brought up the relationship between Russia and China, saying that their “arrangements and closeness that have taken place in recent times means it is also very important for our region”.

“We live in an uncertain world,” he says.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has overturned the standards we observed that the rule of law would be upheld, the borders of sovereign nations would be respected, and we would not see the kind of brutal invasion from Russia. , in Ukraine.”

Albanian heads to Spain for NATO meeting

Mr. Albanese said it is vital that the international community stand alongside Ukraine while its people “are doing a tremendous service to the democratic world”.

He will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden during the summit.

Mr. Albanian also said he was still seeking “security advice” about whether visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv was safe.

“We want to make sure it’s safe to do this and that we don’t endanger Australian service personnel by undertaking such a journey,” he said.

“It is certainly appreciated… that President Zelensky has made this invitation to Australia, and we consider it a good thing if it can be undertaken.”

Australia has contributed over $285 million in military aid, including Bushmaster vehicles and armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.

Mr. Albanese will also visit Paris later in the week at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron to close the gap between the two countries after the submarine deal was dumped by the former Australian government.

The current Collins-class submarines in Australia would be replaced by another conventional fleet to be built by the French company Naval Group in South Australia.

But the $90 billion defense contract was scrapped last year after the former Morrison administration decided to pursue nuclear-powered submarines instead under the AUKUS partnership.

Related Articles