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Monday, October 25, 2021

President Biden hosts first Quad leaders’ summit, PM Modi attends meet

Quad leaders are also planning to roll out vaccine deliverables and announce a series of measures in the field of healthcare and infrastructure sector.

By: PTI | Washington |
Updated: September 25, 2021 12:49:56 am
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at Quad Leaders' Summit. (Twitter/PMO)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his counterparts from Australia and Japan on Friday attended the first in-person meeting of Quad leaders hosted by US President Joe Biden and said that he firmly believed that the grouping of four countries would act as a “force for global good” and ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific as well as the entire world.

In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China’s growing military presence in the strategic region.

At the invitation of President Biden, Prime Minister Modi and his counterparts Scott Morrison from Australia and Yoshihide Suga from Japan have gathered in the American capital for the first-ever in-person Quad summit at the White House.

Opening the summit, President Biden said the four democracies have come together to take on common challenges from Covid to climate. “This group has democratic partners who share world views and have a common vision for the future,” he said.

“We know how to get things done and are up to the challenge,” he said.

In a short and crisp speech, Prime Minister Modi said that he was confident that “our participation in Quad will ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific as well as the entire world.” “I firmly believe it would act as a force for global good,” Modi said.

He also said that the Quad vaccine initiative will help Indo-Pacific nations.

“When world is fighting Covid-19, we have, after the 2004 Tsunami in Japan, come together again for humanity in the form of Quad alliance,” he said.

He said the Quad has decided to go ahead with a positive approach on the basis of the shared democratic values of the member states. “I’d be happy to discuss with my friends-be it supply chain, global security, climate action, COVID response or technology cooperation.” Morrison said that the Indo-Pacific region should be free from coercion and disputes should be solved in accordance with international law.

“The Indo-Pacific has great challenges and challenges have to be overcome. In six months from the last meeting so much has been accomplished. We stand here together in the Info Pacific region,” he said.

“I hope we are able to hold a relevant summit,” Japanese Prime Minister Suga said.
During the summit, the four leaders are expected to discuss promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, address the climate crisis and advance practical cooperation on areas like combatting Covid-19.

Ahead of the summit, the White House said that the Quad leaders would announce a new working group on space, a supply chain initiative and a 5G deployment and diversification effort apart from discussing issues like challenges in the Indo Pacific, climate change and Covid-19 pandemic during their historic meeting.

Quad leaders are also planning to roll out vaccine deliverables and announce a series of measures in the field of healthcare and infrastructure sector, officials said.

India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

Ahead of the Quad summit, Prime Minister Modi separately met his Australian and Japanese counterparts on Thursday and they reaffirmed the importance of maritime security towards the realisation of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.

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