Quad leaders vows for free Indo-Pacific
News Desk || shiningbd
Leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia vowed on Friday to pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific region at their first in-person summit, which presented a united front amid shared concerns about China.
The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic, security, and climate change were at the forefront of discussions during the first in-person Quad leaders’ summit on Friday.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden vowed to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific. In a veiled dig at China, they agreed that the strategically vital region would have to be “inclusive and resilient”.
“Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” the leaders said in a joint statement.
In a brief opening address, Modi said that he firmly believe the four-member grouping would act as a “force for global good” and will ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
Calling the Quad a “positive” initiative, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it will help to uplift the wellbeing of the people of the strategically-vital Indo-Pacific region.
Noting the tense situation in Afghanistan, the leaders, in a joint statement, reaffirmed that the region should not be used to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan future attacks.
“We stand together in support of Afghan nationals, and call on the Taliban to provide safe passage to any person wishing to leave Afghanistan, and to ensure that the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and minorities are respected,” their statement read.
Morrison, speaking to reporters, called the Quad a “very practical initiative”.But - even if still not mentioning China directly - he made a pointed statement about Quad members being ready to stand up to “any pressure that would come on any of us.”
In its joint statement, the Quad announced several new pacts to tackle the climate crisis and threat to cyber security. indianexpress.com