Quad has worked so well because of strong bilateral ties, says India at foreign ministers’ meeting in Melbourne

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar before the Quad meeting of foreign ministers in Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/POOL

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said the 4th Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is an opportunity to review the progress made since a vision was laid out at the Quad Leaders’ Summit in September last year. Jaishankar made these remarks in the presence of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Melbourne.

“In September, you (Australian PM), our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), President Biden, Prime Minister of Japan, collectively gave us guidance, laid out a vision for Quad. I want to assure you that we’ve all been at work. I think today’s meeting gives us an opportunity to review how much we’ve progressed on that vision that was laid out,” said Jaishankar.

“A part of the reason why I think Quad has worked so well is because our bilateral relations have been very strong. Surely, I expect the progress in our bilateral relations to be there in Quad as well,” he added.

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In his opening remarks, Australian PM Morrison said we live in a very fragile, fragmented and contested world that is no more extenuated than here in the Indo-Pacific.

“I am reassured by our perspective, I am reassured by the understanding that is shared between us. I am reassured by the incredibly strong support that Australia has received from Quad partners. And I don’t just mean in the security context but economic partnership and cooperation. I mean that in humanitarian partnership and how each of fight a world order that stands for freedom and particularly here in the free and open Indo Pacific,” he added.

Morrison further said Australia also share a vision for a stronger economy and not only regional stability or security.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is a partnership of four nations, each of whom shares a commitment to openness, transparency and challenges coming out of the current global order.

This is the first time Quad foreign ministers are meeting since the two Quad summits last year.

According to Foreign Policy, the Quad has gained momentum in recent years as all four countries have seen their relations with China deteriorate. “China remains the main geopolitical focus, though: Its state media has described the summit as a case of “tightening alliances to serve military confrontation,” it said.

It also noted that the meeting is likely to focus on advancing the biggest Quad project so far – a COVID-19 vaccine plan that aims to counter China’s vaccine distribution efforts across the Indo-Pacific region.

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