September 11, 2021 6:02:28 am
The Quad has evolved “swiftly” and very “effectively”, and Australia commends India for taking a strong leadership role in the region, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Friday.
In an address at the Observer Research Foundation, Payne spoke about “significant challenges” facing the Indo-Pacific and that Australia seeks a region where rights of large and small countries are respected, and no “single dominant power” dictates outcome for others.
Her comments are seen as an oblique reference to China.
“We commend India for taking a strong leadership role in the region,” she said.
Payne and Defence Minister Dutton arrived here on Friday on a three-day visit, primarily to take part in the inaugural two-plus-two ministerial dialogue between the two countries.
“Since India’s independence, generations of Australians have admired the bold nation-building project began by (M K) Gandhi, (Jawaharlal) Nehru, (Vallabhbhai) Patel and (B R) Ambedkar and continued by their successors up to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi,” she said. It is an exciting time to witness the continuous rise of a new India, a country that is both confident, modern, aspirational, vibrant, tech-savvy and a leading Indo-Pacific power, Payne said.
She mentioned the “indispensable role” that Australians of Indian descent, Indian migrants and Indian students are playing in modern Australia. She said the two countries share a common vision for an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific, a region in which states cooperate and resolve differences based on international rules and norms.
In that context, she said, the Quad, comprising India, the US, Australia and Japan, has evolved “swiftly” and very “effectively” over the last two years. One of the key objectives of the Quad is to work for an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific. “It is thoroughly a contemporary grouping,” she said.
Payne also announced that Australia will contribute $10 million for the India-led coalition for disaster-resilient infrastructure and $1 million for International Solar Alliance.
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