Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's visit to the United States got off to a rocky start when his partner, Jodie Haydon, made an embarrassing mistake during a photo op with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. The incident took place on the South Portico of the White House, where Haydon mistakenly stood next to Dr. Biden instead of her partner, Mr. Albanese. After being directed to switch places, the foursome posed for photographs and exchanged greetings.
The state dinner, which is usually a grand diplomatic event, is set to be scaled back due to the recent conflict in the Middle East and a congressional leadership crisis. The dinner will be held in a temporary pavilion on the White House lawn. The menu for the evening has been revealed, with a focus on celebrating the century-long friendship between Australia and the United States.
Despite the blunder, the visit between the two countries is seen as an opportunity to strengthen the alliance and discuss important issues such as China's influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Mr. Albanese is scheduled to meet with business executives, attend the opening of the new Australian embassy in Washington, and hold important discussions with President Biden.
Overall, while the incident may have caused a moment of embarrassment, the focus remains on the important discussions and partnerships that will be forged during the state visit between Australia and the United States.