Anthony Albanese, the newly elected prime minister of Australia, has rejected calls for him to publicly demand the United States drop its prosecution of WikiLeaks founder and Australian citizen Julian Assange.
Bob Carr, who was foreign minister when Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party was last in power in 2012 and 2013, wrote in an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday that an Australian request to drop Assange’s prosecution was a “small change” in Australia’s defence alliance with the US.
Speaking to reporters, Albanese declined to say whether he had spoken to President Joe Biden about the case after the British government last week ordered his extradition to the US on spying charges, risking up to 175 years in jail.
“There are some people who think that if you put things in capital letters on Twitter and put an exclamation mark, that somehow makes it more important. It doesn’t,” said Albanese, who came to power in elections a month ago. I intend to lead a government that engages diplomatically and appropriately with our partners,” Albanese added.