With China listening in, the leaders of US, India, Japan and Australia spoke in one voice at their first in-person summit on harnessing their national strengths to shape a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and to play the role of force of global good, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words.
The first face-to-face Quad summit took place at the White House on a pleasant afternoon in Washington, with the leaders of four major democracies forging pragmatic cooperation pivoted around countering pandemic through vaccines, combating climate change and setting standards on development of emerging technologies.
US President Joe Biden, PM Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s PM Yoshihide Suga participated in the first in-person Quad summit.
In his opening remarks, US President Joe Biden summed up the essence of the Quad as four major democracies working together to get things done, and take on common challenges from Covid to climate. “We know how to get things done and are up to the challenge,” he said.
PM Modi, on his part, underlined positive and forward-looking aspects of intra-Quad cooperation in areas such as jointly developing counter-Covid vaccines by branding the plurilateral grouping as “a force for global public good.”
“We have gathered in the interests of humanity. On the basis of shared democratic values, the Quad has decided to move ahead in a positive manner,” said Mr Modi.
“Our four nations met for the first time after the 2004 Tsunami to help the Indo-Pacific region. Today, when the world is fighting against COVID-19 pandemic, we have come here once again as Quad for the welfare of humanity,” PM Modi said. “Our Quad vaccine initiative will greatly help the Indo-Pacific countries,” he said.
“Our Quad will perform the role of the force of the global good. The Quad will advance peace and prosperity,” he said.
Mr Morrison underlined that the Indo-Pacific region should be free from coercion and disputes should be solved in accordance with international law. “The Indo-Pacific has great challenges and challenges have to be overcome. In six months from the last meeting so much has been accomplished. We stand here together in the Info Pacific region,” he said.
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