No Talks Over Expansion Of Quad Members, Says Indian Foreign...| MENAFN.COM

Thursday, 07 July 2022 04:21 GMT

No Talks Over Expansion Of Quad Members, Says Indian Foreign Secretary


(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and other Quad leaders are expected to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities in the Indo-Pacific as well as pressing global issues at their summit talks on May 24 in Tokyo, Trend reports citing The Print.

Modi is visiting Japan on May 23 and 24 to attend the summit.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Saturday that the upcoming summit would provide the leaders with an opportunity to take stock of the progress made so far under the Quad framework and give guidance for the future.

Apart from participating in the Quad summit, Modi would also hold bilateral meetings with Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Australian counterpart.

Modi will also engage with the Japanese business community and the Indian diaspora.

“Quad cooperation is anchored in the shared values and commitment to the principles of democracy, international law, rules-based international order as also the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” Kwatra said at a media briefing.

“Since its first summit, Quad has been working to implement a positive and constructive agenda with a strong focus on enabling peace, prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

Asked whether China's aggressive behaviour in the region including along its border with India would figure in the Quad summit, Kwatra said the leaders are expected to deliberate on “challenges and opportunities” in the Indo-pacific region in accordance with the agenda of the deliberations.

To a question on India's stand on the Ukraine conflict, he said it is“amply clear” and that it has been reiterated many times.

Kwatra said right from the time when hostilities began, India called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and has been maintaining that dialogue remained the best policy to resolve it.

Referring to Quad's agenda, the foreign secretary said cooperation efforts under Quad have also included working together on climate action.

He said it involves creating a decarbonised green shipping network in the Indo-Pacific, making use of clean hydrogen and making it more accessible, besides pooling capacities to assist Indo-Pacific countries in climate monitoring, and information-sharing.

Kwatra said the Quad's Infrastructure Coordination Group has been deliberating on supporting sustainable and demand-driven infrastructure in the region in a manner that does not burden countries of the region with unsustainable debt.

He said cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, biotechnology, diversification of semiconductors supply chain, and security of critical cyber infrastructure are other key priority areas of our cooperative measures in the Quad.

To a question, Kwatra said that there is no conversation going on over further expansion of Quad.

On Modi's bilateral meeting with Biden, the foreign secretary said the India-US relationship is multifaceted and it has acquired momentum and has depth and is diversified.

“Our long-standing cooperation in diverse areas ranging from trade, defence, security, climate and education energy is on an upward trajectory. There is a regular exchange of visits and dialogue not just on the bilateral agenda, but also on regional and global issues,” Kwatra said.

“The prime minister's meeting with Biden will mark a continuation of these high-level dialogues and provide guidance and vision to take the relationship forward,” he added.

The foreign secretary said Modi will also meet Kishida.

“Japan is among our most important partners. Modi has referred to the India-Japan relationship as being one of the most natural in the region. In the last few years, the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership have seen great momentum,” Kwatra said.

“The meeting will be an opportunity to carry forward the high-level engagement between the two countries, as also to advance bilateral cooperation agenda,” he said.

On Modi's planned bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart, Kwatra referred to the general elections in Australia.

“We understand that the next Australian prime minister is likely to attend the Quad Summit. It is expected that the prime minister will meet the new Australian prime minister in Tokyo,” he said.

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