Minister-level Quad meet an elevation of Indo-Pacific dialogue, says US
The Quad, which was revived in 2017 by four of the Indo-Pacific’s largest democracies, has met four times only at the level of joint secretary.Updated: Sep 28, 2019 03:01 IST
The decision by Australia, India, Japan and the US to upgrade their “Quad” grouping to the level of foreign ministers is a “significant elevation” aimed at institutionalising the dialogue by the Indo-Pacific partners, a top American official has said.
The Quad, which was revived in 2017 by four of the Indo-Pacific’s largest democracies, has met four times only at the level of joint secretary. The first meeting at the ministerial level on the margins of the UN General Assembly on Thursday was attended by external affairs minister S Jaishankar, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
The grouping is perceived as a counter to China in the Indo-Pacific though India and Japan have said the framework isn’t directed at any particular country.
The US acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Alice Wells, told a briefing in New York that Thursday’s meeting was a “significant elevation of the level of our dialogue and really demonstrates the leadership of all four countries in institutionalising this gathering of like-minded Indo-Pacific partners”.
The foreign ministers had a “wide-ranging discussion of our collective efforts to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific” and also touched on counter-terrorism, maritime security cooperation, cyber-security, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and development finance, she said.
“I would say the US and Indian joint participation in the Quad also demonstrates the strength of the US-India relationship and our shared commitment to…advancing a values-based policy towards the region,” she added.
First Published: Sep 28, 2019 03:01 IST