Canberra, Nov 10 (ANI): Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has been condemned for demanding a place to share the limelight with the US Secretary of State, in a heavily promoted 'Q and A show' on ABC TV.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Rudd's conveyed his decision to ABC to attend the town hall-style meeting hours before the event was due to be recorded.
Rudd was not scheduled to be among the VIP guests at the recording, which included Australia's ambassador in Washington, Kim Beazley, the businessman Hugh Morgan, Melbourne University's vice-chancellor, Glyn Davis, and the US ambassador to Australia, Jeff Bleich. However, after a dinner with Clinton on Saturday, Rudd insisted being a part of it.
The paper quoted an Australian official familiar with the event, as saying that Rudd had demanded plans be changed to include him, and added: "the behaviour was disgusting and he deserves to be called on it."
It is believed that Rudd had actually asked to be seated on stage with Clinton and the ABC host, Leigh Sales, for the broadcast dubbed, Hillary Rodham Clinton: An Australian Conversation. This threatened to undo the careful planning for the recording, which involved some six camera positions spread among an audience of about 450 in a Melbourne University lecture theatre.
Rudd however denied the accusations on Monday that he or his staff asked for a seat on stage saying, "No, not at all. I didn't ask to go on the stage at all. I said to Hillary, 'Oh, you're going to the university tomorrow? That's terrific. I know the vice-chancellor. I'd like to come along and have a look. hat's terrific.""
He arrived early at the event and walked up and down the aisle, shaking hands with the audience. He then took a seat in the front row and later attended a morning tea hosted by Melbourne University Asialink following the recording, the paper added. (ANI)