Quad member states review connectivity cooperation, security in Indo-Pacific
Senior officials of the four countries in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad on Friday reviewed cooperation in connectivity and infrastructure development and security issues across the Indo-Pacific region.
The virtual meeting of officials of India, Australia, Japan and the US was a follow-up to the last such official discussions in September, and the second ministerial meeting of the Quad held in Tokyo on October 6. It also came in the wake of Australia participating in the Malabar trilateral naval exercise by India, Japan and the US last month.
The officials exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest and reviewed “ongoing and proposed practical cooperation in...connectivity and infrastructure development, and security issues, including counter-terrorism, cyber security, maritime security [and] humanitarian and disaster relief, with the objective of promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific”, the external affairs ministry said.
The officials highlighted the need to ensure safe, effective and affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines. In the context of the global pandemic, they “underscored the importance of enhancing the resilience of supply chains for an expeditious and sustainable global economic recovery”, the ministry said.
The four countries reiterated their commitment to a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific based on shared values and principles and respect for international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The four members of the Quad have stepped up their efforts to ensure security across the Indo-Pacific and to build alternative and resilient supply chains against the backdrop of China’s increasingly assertive actions across the region.
Friday’s meeting was joined by officials of India’s external affairs ministry, Australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade, Japan’s foreign ministry and the US state department.
The meeting also expressed appreciation for the Vietnamese chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) and the outcomes of the East Asia Summit held in November. The officials reiterated support for Asean-centrality and Asean-led mechanisms, particularly the East Asia Summit, in the regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific, and their readiness to work with Asean and all other countries to realise a “common and promising vision for the Indo-Pacific”.