biden: Australians squirm as Biden calls PM ‘fellow Down Under’


SYDNEY: Australians squirmed on Thursday as US President Joe Biden he thanked his prime minister for joining a major new defense alliance, but seemed to forget his name.
Rather than being congratulated by name on his role in the deal between the United States, Britain and Australia, Prime Minister Scott morrison He was initially relegated to being “that guy from Down Under.”
In a televised White House ad, Biden was flanked by large video screens of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Morrison, who participated remotely.
“Thank you Boris and … and I want to thank that fellow Down Under. Thank you very much, friend. I appreciate it, Prime Minister,” said Biden, unveiling a deal that will equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. .
Biden appeared to rebound when he then returned to his formal comments and correctly identified the Australian leader, who had previously responded to the apparent error with a smile and a thumbs-up. But it was too late for some.
“‘Thanks buddy’: Biden seems to forget Morrison’s name,” read a headline in the Cairns Post.
The defense deal “may not have had the bright start Morrison expected, of course, when US President Joe Biden appeared to forget his name at the crucial moment,” an analysis by the Sydney Morning Herald said.
The apparent error opened a window into the “little brother nature of Australia’s position among the powers,” the newspaper said.
But an analysis by James Morrow in the Sydney Daily Telegraph said the awkward moment could not overshadow the significance of the deal, reached at a time of growing Chinese military influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Not even Joe Biden forgetting the name ‘that guy Down Under’ could spoil the significance of what just happened in the last 12 hours,” he wrote.

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