Biden to shorten trip for G7 Summit

US President Joe Biden is setting off on Wednesday to join his counterparts in Hiroshima at a summit of the Group of Seven countries. However, he is canceling his visit to Australia, as well as Papua New Guinea, and will return to Washington on Sunday for debt limit talks.

Biden met with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other Congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday.

They remained at odds as Republicans insist they will not agree to raise what is known as the debt ceiling unless Biden agrees to spending cuts.

Biden said default is not an option, stressing his resolve to focus on the talks and reach a deal as the United States could default as early as June 1.

As a result of Biden's decision to head back to the United States earlier than planned, a summit meeting of the four-way Quad framework may take place in Japan instead of the Australian city of Sydney.

Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters on Wednesday that the leaders of Australia, the United States, India and Japan would not go ahead in Sydney. The meeting had been scheduled for May 24.

Albanese suggested the Quad leaders could instead meet on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan this weekend.

Biden had planned to stop in Papua New Guinea on the way to Australia to highlight Washington's enhanced involvement in the Pacific region amid China's growing influence.