Quad meeting 'not the same' if Biden doesn't show

·2-min read

The upcoming Quad meeting could be hamstrung before discussions begin, with US President Joe Biden facing a make-or-break political battle at home.

The leaders of Australia, the United States, Japan and India will meet in Sydney on May 24.

Mr Biden is struggling to have Congress raise the debt ceiling, putting his travel schedule in doubt.

He is set to head to Japan for the G7 at the end of the week, with trips to Papua New Guinea and Australia also scheduled this month.

The president said he still planned to leave for Japan on Wednesday.

Australia's former ambassador to Washington Arthur Sinodinos said the talks wouldn't be the same if the president isn't there.

"Joe Biden did a great thing in elevating the Quad to the leaders level. It's really turbocharged the process and there's lots of good stuff coming out of the process so it would be great to maintain the momentum in Sydney," he told ABC radio on Monday

But he noted the stakes were getting high in the US debt ceiling negotiations.

"And obviously there are major economic implications both for the US and globally," he added.

Mr Sinodinos said the meeting was important, with India increasingly flexing its muscles as it becomes a stronger and bigger international player.

He said it was important India moves towards maintaining the rules-based order, with New Delhi drawing the ire of Western democracies by not more overtly condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

India is heavily reliant on Russian weapons.

"So the approach the US has taken is greater information sharing, greater intelligence sharing, promoting alternative avenues for providing arms to India and further cementing the engagement within India," Mr Sinodinos said. 

"The Quad and other institutions are part of that process and, of course, countries like Australia are playing their role as we seek to make up for lost time in terms of our relationship with India."

Mr Sinodinos said Australia was primed to take advantage of expanding business opportunities with India through the Quad forum and bilateral meetings.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to the laying of a foundation stone at the entrance to 'Little India' in Sydney's Harris Park after dozens of Indian small businesses campaigned to have the park renamed.