Quad member states review cooperation on connectivity and security in the Indo-Pacific
Senior officials from the four countries in the Quadrilateral for Security Dialogue or Quad on Friday reviewed cooperation on connectivity and infrastructure development and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region.
The virtual meeting of officials from India, Australia, Japan and the US was a follow-up to the last official discussions of this kind in September, and to the second Quad ministerial meeting held in Tokyo on October 6. It also came in the wake of Australia participating in India, Japan and the United States’ Malabar trilateral naval exercise last month.
Officials exchanged views on regional and global issues of common concern and discussed “current and proposed practical cooperation in … connectivity and infrastructure development, and security issues, including counter-terrorism, security cyber, maritime security [and] humanitarian and disaster aid, with the aim of promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific ”, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Officials highlighted the need to ensure safe, effective and affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines. In the context of the global pandemic, “they underscored the importance of enhancing the resilience of supply chains for a rapid and sustainable global economic recovery,” the ministry said.
The four countries reiterated their commitment to a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific based on shared values and principles and respect for international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The four members of the Quad have stepped up their efforts to ensure security throughout the Indo-Pacific and to build resilient and alternative supply chains in the context of China’s increasingly assertive actions in the region.
The meeting on Friday was joined by officials from the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Department of State.
The meeting also expressed its appreciation for the Vietnamese presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the results of the East Asia Summit held in November. The officials reiterated their support for the centrality of Asean and the mechanisms led by Asean, in particular the East Asia Summit, in the Indo-Pacific regional architecture, and their willingness to work with Asean and all other countries to realize a “common and promising vision for the Indo-Pacific”.