United States President Joe Biden on Friday hosted the first in-person summit of the member countries of the Quad grouping, of which India, Australia and Japan are also a part.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga, Australia’s Scott Morrison and Biden discussed the Covid-19 situation in the world, climate change, and the crisis in Afghanistan, among other matters during the meeting.
“Our four nations met for the first time after the 2004 Tsunami to help the Indo-Pacific region,” Modi said during his address, reported NDTV. “Today, when the world is fighting against COVID-19 pandemic, we have come here once again as Quad for the welfare of humanity.”
Modi said that the Quad’s agreement on Covid-19 vaccines would help the countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Biden had on Wednesday announced that the Quad nations will produce at least 100 crore Covid-19 vaccines in India to boost the global supply by the end of 2022.
During the Quad meeting on Friday, the Australian prime minister said that the Indo-Pacific region should be rid of conflicts 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,” Morrison said, according to PTI.
Biden noted that the leaders of the Quad had “made concrete commitments to advance our shared and positive agenda for a free and open Indo-Pacific” six months ago. He added that the alliance was making “excellent progress” in the affairs of the region.
Meanwhile, India said that members of the Quad had agreed to monitor Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, reported AFP.
“There was a clear sense that a more careful look and a more careful examination and monitoring of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan – Pakistan’s role on the issue of terrorism – had to be kept,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said after the meeting.
Trade to assume importance in India-US ties, Modi tells Biden
Earlier on Friday, Modi held bilateral discussions with Biden. The two politicians discussed expansion of Indo-US relations.
“...Between India and the United States, trade will continue to assume importance and we find that the trade between our two countries are actually complementary,” Modi told Biden. “There are things that you have and there are things that we have and then we in fact complement each other. And I find that in the area of trade during this decade, that is also going to be tremendously important.”
On Thursday, Modi also met US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Shringla told the media that when the topic of terrorism came up, Harris spoke about Pakistan’s role.
“She agreed with the Prime Minister’s briefing on the fact of cross-border terrorism and the fact that India had been a victim of terrorism for several decades now and all the need to rein in and closely monitor Pakistan’s support for such terrorist groups,” Shringla said.
On Saturday, Modi is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York.