March 15, 2021 4:10:59 am
DESCRIBING THE Covid pandemic as “among the greatest risks to health and economic stability”, the leaders of the four Quad countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, have pledged to “expand and accelerate” vaccine production in India.
In a joint op-ed article in The Washington Post, Modi, Biden, Morrison and Suga said: “The pandemic is among the greatest risks to health and economic stability in recent history, and we must work in partnership to stop it in its tracks. Now, we are launching an ambitious effort to help end Covid-19. Together, we pledge to expand and accelerate production in India of safe, accessible and effective vaccines. We will partner at each stage to ensure that vaccines are administered throughout the Indo-Pacific region into 2022.”
They also wrote that “ending and recovering from the pandemic, standing up to climate change, and advancing our shared regional vision will not be easy”.
“We know we cannot and will not succeed without coordination and cooperation. We will renew and strengthen our partnerships in Southeast Asia, starting with the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, work with the Pacific Islands, and engage the Indian Ocean region to meet this moment,” they wrote.
“The Quad is a flexible group of like-minded partners dedicated to advancing a common vision and to ensuring peace and prosperity. We welcome and will seek opportunities to work with all of those who share in those goals,” the op-ed by the four leaders said.
“Our foundations of democracy and a commitment to engagement unite us. We know we can provide for the safety and prosperity of our people at home by confronting global crises together, with purpose and resolve. We summon from tragedy the strength and resilience to unify and overcome. And we recommit ourselves, once again, to an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, secure and prosperous,” they said.
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