Strong bilateral ties behind Quad working well: EAM

Melbourne/New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said one of the reasons why the Quad has worked so well is due to the strong bilateral relations that the four countries of India, Japan, Australia and the US share. Jaishankar, who is attending the fourth Quad Foreign Ministers meeting along with his compatriots, paid a joint call on Australian PM Scott Morrison ahead of sitting down for the meeting. Jaishankar said it’s his first visit to Australia as EAM, “and it’s very appropriate that it should happen for a Quad meeting” and then for the bilateral meetings later. He said in September last year, PM Modi, PM Morrison, President Biden and the then PM of Japan “collectively gave us guidance, laid out a vision for the Quad to go forward….Today’s meeting will give us an opportunity to review how much we have progressed on that vision you have set out.” Referring to the bilateral ties with Canberra, he said: ”I do want to recognise how much progress we have made in our ties with Australia…. One of the reasons I think why Quad has worked so well is because our bilaterals have been very strong.” PM Morrison, in his address to the four foreign ministers, said: “I’m reassured by our perspective, I’m reassured by the understanding that is shared between each of us. I’m reassured by the incredible strong support that Australia has received from our Quad partners, and I mean that in the security context, I mean that in the context of our economic cooperation, in our humanitarian partnership, in terms of health…. “We look for an alliance that very much has the Asean partners at the centre of our understanding of the Indo-Pacific vision… We all share a deep passion for Asean; and our partnership with them will help us achieve many things that we are working on as Quad… The things we discuss today are principally how we will continue to stand up for our values, which unites us most; and secondly in doing so, we stand up to those who expect to coerce us; and as I understand from our Quad partners, none of you understand that better than we do, and that is a great comfort to us; the coercion the pressure that Australia has been facing, we greatly appreciate this Quad” — in reference to tensions with China. “But we also share a vision for a stronger economy, not just regional stability and security, and our engagement in this region,” Morrison added. The four foreign ministers — Jaishankar, Australia’s Marise Payne, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japan’s Yoshimasa Hayashi – sat down for the meeting after the meeting with PM Scott Morrisson. Ahead of the meet, Australian FM Marise Payne said in a tweet: “Looking forward to hosting India, Japan and the US for the fourth Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. We are a vital network of liberal democracies with a positive & ambitious agenda in support of a secure & prosperous Indo-Pacific.” The meeting today is a follow up on their virtual meeting held in February 2021 and they are to exchange views on regional strategic issues given their shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. The Ministers are to review ongoing Quad cooperation and build on the positive and constructive agenda announced by the Leaders at the two Summits in 2021, to address contemporary challenges such as the COVID pandemic, supply chains, critical technologies, climate change, infrastructure etc. UNI RN


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