The Quad leaders shared perspectives on the situation in Afghanistan, the emerging challenges in South Asia and Indo-Pacific and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Asian Lite News
At the maiden in-person summit, the Quad leaders shared perspectives on the situation in Afghanistan, the challenges in Indo-Pacific and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Friday.
Speaking at a special briefing after the Quad leaders’ meeting, Shringla said that the leaders also discussed a common approach to emerging technologies, cybersecurity and addressing the challenge of climate change.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday held the Quad leaders’ meeting. It was hosted by the US leader.
“It was the first in-person Quad summit that took place. The meeting enables leaders to share views on contemporary issues in the region,” he said.
“They shared perspectives on the situation in Afghanistan, the emerging challenges in South Asia and Indo-Pacific and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and work towards preventing the other pandemics that would come in the future. Evolving a common approach to emerging technologies, cybersecurity and addressing the challenge of climate change was something that the leaders discussed,” he added.
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the Quad, was first initiated in 2007 by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the goal of peace and security in the region.
In his opening remarks at the Quad leaders meeting, Prime Minister Modi said that Quad will work in the role of “force for global good” and asserted that the cooperation among four countries including India, the United States, Australia and Japan in the group will ensure peace and prosperity in Indo-pacific.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison asserted said that the Indo-Pacific should be free from coercion in accordance with international law and sovereign rights must be respected.
Yoshihide Suga during his opening remarks at the Quad summit expressed the importance of the first in-person Quad meeting and said that the meeting reflects strong ties among four nations, emphasising that Indo-Pacific should be open and free.
Pak involvement in terror
Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan and its involvement in terrorism were among the issues discussed in the Quad summit and Prime Minister Modi’s bilateral discussions, Foreign Secretary Shringla said.
Responding to a question on Pakistan’s support to terrorism during a press briefing here, Shringla said that Pakistan has really been in many senses instigator of some of the problems India is dealing with in our neighbourhood and beyond.
“Both in bilateral discussions and in Quad summit, there was a clear sense that more careful look, examination and monitoring Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s role on the issue of terrorism had to be kept and certainly whether it is Quad or other partners had to keep track to that factor, an important factor that sometimes gets overlooked when you see Pakistan projecting itself as a facilitator whether it has really been in many sense instigator of some of the problems we are dealing with in our neighbourhood and beyond,” he said.
India and the United States have expressed concern over Islamabad’s role in Afghanistan, said Shringla adding that the two sides underscored the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan.
“I think there was clear concern in that regard on Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan and their continuing for a certain approach that did not seem to be conducive to the international community expectations of what Afghanistan should be like,” he said.
During a press conference on Thursday, Shringla informed that US Vice President Kamala Harris has ‘suo moto’, referred to Pakistan’s role in terrorism and asked the country to stop supporting terror groups during the first-ever meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi.
Harris acknowledged the presence of terror groups in Pakistan, said Shringla when asked whether the issue of Pakistan emboldening Taliban came up during the discussion between PM Modi and the US Vice President.
Common int’l travel protocol
Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a common international travelling protocol involving mutual recognition of the COVID-19 vaccination certificate at Quad leaders meeting, Foreign Secretary Shringla said on Friday, adding that the proposal was “well-received” by all leaders of Quad nations.
“PM Narendra Modi proposed a common international travelling protocol involving mutual recognition of the COVID19 vaccination certificate. It was well-received by all Quad leaders,” Shringla said, speaking at a special briefing.
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