On a day the US said India plays a critical role in the future of the Indo-Pacific region and described the Quad foreign ministers’ meeting as a “milestone”, New Delhi proposed an Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain.
Delhi’s proposal was articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday when he addressed the East Asia summit. The officials of Quadrilateral grouping met on the sidelines on Monday.
The Ministry of External Affairs’ secretary (east) Vijay Thakur Singh said, “Prime Minister proposed an Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain, and to make meaningful efforts to create a safe, secure and stable maritime domain.”
Singh said focus areas will include “creating partnerships” among interested countries in several pillars, ranging from “enhancing maritime security to preserving and sustainably using marine resources, building capacity, disaster prevention and management, as well as working together in trade, and maritime transport”.
In a statement on the Quad meeting, MEA said, “The officials reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region based on shared values and principles and respect for international law.”
Earlier, the US State Department released a progress report on the implementation of the US whole-of-government strategy for Indo-Pacific region. In the report, the US said its strategic partnership with India is “reaching new heights”.
“India plays a critical role in the future of the Indo-Pacific region,” the report said.