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Quad meet to focus on global order after Covid

As the first such meeting of Quad foreign ministers’ grouping is taking place amid the tension between India and China over the border standoff, Delhi also said that there will be a discussion on “regional issues”.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | October 2, 2020 4:25:36 am
India scrambles to buy winter gear from US amid row with ChinaForeign Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi pledged in September to reduce tensions along the 3,488-kilometer boundary known as the Line of Actual Control. (File photo)

As External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar heads to Japan next week and participates in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Quadrilateral grouping on October 6, New Delhi on Thursday said it will be focused on the “post-Covid-19 international order” as well as the “need for coordinating responses to the challenges emerging from the pandemic”.

As the first such meeting of Quad foreign ministers’ grouping is taking place amid the tension between India and China over the border standoff, Delhi also said that there will be a discussion on “regional issues”.

In response to questions at the weekly briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday, “The second meeting of the India-Australia-Japan-US Ministerial will be held on October 6 during the visit. In this meeting, foreign ministers of the respective countries will be participating.”

“The agenda will be broadly focused on the post-Covid-19 international order as well as the need for coordinating responses to the challenges emerging from the pandemic. There will also be a discussion on regional issues. The foreign ministers are expected to collectively affirm the importance of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” the MEA spokesperson said.

Jaishankar will also hold separate bilateral meetings with US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

The MEA had on Tuesday announced Jaishankar’s visit. Amid the pandemic, this will be one of the few in-person meetings, at a time when most meetings have taken place through virtual mode.

Jaishankar will be in Tokyo on October 6-7 for bilateral consultations with the Japanese foreign minister. “The two ministers are expected to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest,” the MEA statement said.

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, senior officials of Quad grouping had met through virtual mode.

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