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Quad Summit Discusses Counter-terrorism, Climate Change, Covid-19 Partnership Among Other Issues

Officials from India, Australia, Japan, and the US considered strategic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

NEW DELHI — Officials from India, United States, Japan, and Australia came together virtually for a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue summit to explore ways to advance cooperation in areas of mutual aid, including maritime and cyber-security, counter-terrorism, higher education, climate change, critical and emerging technologies, and humanitarian assistance to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The second meeting of Quad leaders this year, following the March 12 summit, established a working group to oversee the Quad vaccine partnership and progress on the emerging technology front.

The senior officials from Quad—who met through video conferencing—also exchanged views on the wide-ranging impact of Covid-19 in the Indo-Pacific region and the importance of collaborative efforts to contain the pandemic, ensure health security, and a quick economic recovery.

“In this context, they reviewed the progress of the Quad Vaccine initiative, which was announced by the leaders, to enhance vaccine production and equitable access,” said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

“The officials also discussed issues of common interest and explored possibilities of collaboration in resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, cybersecurity, counter-terrorism, infrastructure and connectivity, higher education, climate change, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

Ways to further strengthen ongoing cooperation on areas of mutual interest for the nations were considered, as per the US Department of State release.

“The four democracies acknowledged that global security and prosperity depends on the region remaining inclusive, resilient, and healthy,” said the US Department of State in the release.

“They discussed the importance of sustained international cooperation to end the Covid-19 pandemic in the Indo-Pacific and to promote economic recovery.”

Besides, the Quad meeting also addressed peace and security in the Taiwan strait and Myanmar’s ongoing political and humanitarian crises.

“The officials also welcomed the fact that a Free and Open Indo-Pacific is a vision for the peace and prosperity of the region and its importance in the post-Covid world is increasing and that this vision has spread in the international community, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in Europe,” said the Japanese Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Recalling their shared values and principles, the officials reaffirmed the commitment towards a free, open, prosperous, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on respect for international law. They reiterated their firm support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ centrality, ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and ASEAN-led mechanisms in the regional architecture.

The Indian side was represented by Vani Rao, the Joint Secretary (Americas), and Additional Secretary (East Asia) Naveen Srivastava.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Krishna Kakani