Amid the border standoff with China along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Tuesday said India remained committed to respecting territorial integrity, sovereignty, and peaceful resolution of disputes.
In an address at a ministerial meeting of the ‘Quad’ grouping in Tokyo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also spoke about upholding “rules-based international order.”
“We remain committed to upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes,” Jaishankar said.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) October 6, 2020
The meeting of foreign ministers of the ‘Quad’ or Quadrilateral coalition comprising India, the US, Japan, and Australia is taking place in the backdrop of growing concerns over China’s military muscle-flexing in the Indo-Pacific and its months-long border standoff with India in the Ladakh region. China has denounced the Quad as an attempt to contain its development.
Besides India’s foreign minister, the Quad meeting was attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, and Japan’s Toshimitsu Motegi.
“As vibrant and pluralistic democracies with shared values, our nations have collectively affirmed the importance of maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar said at the event. He also said that it was “a matter of satisfaction” the Indo-pacific concept has gained increasingly wider acceptance.
“Our objective remains advancing the security and the economic interests of all countries having legitimate and vital interests in the region,” he said.
Earlier today, Jaishankar also met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Tokyo and spoke about various aspects of bilateral ties and ways to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. He also called on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga along with his counterparts from the US, Japan, and Australia.
Pompeo shared concerns about “China’s malign activity in the region” while agreeing on the importance for the Quad discussions to “the promotion of peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, according to the State Department.
The long-pending proposal of setting up the “Quad” was given shape by the four countries in November 2017. This is the second Quad foreign ministers’ meeting, as the first such meeting had taken place in New York in September last year, on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs said the meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries is expected to collectively affirm the importance of a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
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