March 6, 2021

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India, Australia, Japan, US hold Quad meet, discuss rules-based order, Myanmar coup

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The  third ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ meeting of the foreign ministers of India Australia, Japan and the USA took place on Thursday.The meeting was attended by Minister of External Affairs of India S Jaishankar, Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Japan minister Toshimitsu Motegi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.The ministers broadly discussed cooperation in countering disinformation, counterterrorism, maritime security and the urgent need to restore the democratically elected government in Myanmar.”The ministers emphasized their commitment to upholding a rules-based international order, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas and peaceful resolution of disputes,” a press release from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.The four nations also focused on the centrality of ASEAN nations in ensuring that their sovereignty is respected by all stakeholders in the region — hinting at the growing Chinese aggression.A statement issued by the Japanese foreign ministry said the four ministers confirmed the importance of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.”We agreed to deepen cooperation. In this regard, the four ministers reaffirmed ASEAN’s proactive efforts, the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and its strong support for ASEAN unity and centrality and an ASEAN-led regional framework,” said the statement.Meanwhile, a statement by the US State Department said, “The ministers also discussed countering disinformation, counterterrorism, maritime security, the urgent need to restore the democratically elected government in Burma, and the priority of strengthening democratic resilience in the broader region.”

The four leaders also discussed Quadrilateral (“Quad”) cooperation on Covid-19 response and recovery and climate change and committed to working together to address these global challenges.”The ministers discussed ongoing efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including vaccination programmes. They expressed their commitment to cooperate in addressing this challenge, enhancing access to affordable vaccines, medicines and medical equipment. India’s efforts at providing vaccines to 74 countries was recognized and appreciated,” said the MEA statement.Regional security issues — such as the situation in North Korea and cooperation on global issues like measures against new coronavirus infections and climate change — were also part of the discussion.Noting the importance of this format of meeting, the four ministers agreed to hold annual Quad meetings at ministerial level and on a regular basis at senior and administrative levels to strengthen cooperation on advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region, including support for freedom of navigation and territorial integrity.The last meeting between the four countries — India, US, Japan and Australia — was held on October 6, 2020, in Tokyo.

Source : India Today

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